Could the Newtown tram sheds follow in the footsteps of Glebe?

Could the Newtown tram sheds follow in the footsteps of Glebe?
Image: Newtown MP Jenny Leong is calling community feedback for what to do with the old tram depot. Photo: Wikimedia commons.


Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong has made a call for community insight into how the currently empty Newtown tram sheds could be transformed. The century old heritage-listed tram depot on King Street could soon see a revamp along the lines of the Carriageworks in Glebe if the campaign is successful. 

Leong raised the call on Facebook, stating that the tram sheds “have sat empty and in a worsening state of disrepair, despite their huge potential for transformation into a community, cultural, or arts space.” 

A community meeting is being held in the main hall of the Newtown neighbourhood centre on November 14, with Leong encouraging residents to attend and “share [their] vision for the future of this incredible public space at the heart of our community”. 

Jenny Leong. Photo: Facebook.

City Hub reached out to Leong who spoke about this opportunity for the community to have their say. 

“The Newtown Tram Sheds are a relic of a golden era of massive investment in public transport but have been in a state of limbo and disrepair since they closed 65 years ago,” Leong said. 

“As a large public space in the very heart of our community, the Tram Sheds have incredible potential as a community, recreational, cultural or creative hub. We don’t want to see them go the same way as so many other public assets have under the NSW Liberal-National Government – privatised and sold off to the highest bidder.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the Newtown community to come together and share their vision for how we can transform the site into a public place that our whole community can enjoy.” 

Glebe tram sheds give hope for success

Glebe Tramsheds
The Glebe Tramsheds. Photo:

Residents might be familiar with the successful transformation of the tram sheds in Glebe. A decade ago, the site was purchased by Mirvac and transformed into a foodie’s paradise.  

Back in 2016, Mirvac Development Manager Mark Zanetic praised the engineering of the building’s structure, despite being empty since the 1950s. 

“Restoring a heritage building of this nature was not without its challenges, more so, because we strived to keep as many distinct features as possible including old staircases and the brick facade,” he said as reported by the Daily Telegraph. 

City Hub spoke with Glebe local and frequent traveller to the Glebe tram sheds, Liz* who praised the locations transformation. 

“I frequent the tram sheds at least once a week for either a midweek coffee catch up, with or without kids. I love the whole space. It’s very family and pet friendly,” she said.  

“I think it’s a fantastic use of space, either to dine in or grab a coffee and a bite to take into the park. It provides a wonderful sense of community.” 

“The redevelopment of both Carriageworks and the Glebe tram sheds are a testament to how much inner-city folk are looking for family friendly destinations, particularly of a Saturday/Sunday.” 

While she encourages the Newtown tram sheds to follow suit, Liz is aware of a potential concern. 

“The only concern would be potential congestion given the location of the Newtown Train Depot,” she said. 

Newtown residents who wish to speak on the issue are encouraged to go to the community meeting and have their say on the future of the Newtown tram sheds. 

*Source did not want to disclose full name. 

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