January 28 - February 3, 2018: Issue 345

Pasadena At Church Point, Pittwater Update 

January 2018

Geoffrey Myers. Church Point [Boatshed, Pittwater, NSW] 1945Watercolour, titled, dated “10.11.45” and signed lower left to right, 26.7 x 36.7cm. Slight tears to right edge.  Item #CL183-125 Price (AUD): $880.00   from: https://www.joseflebovicgallery.com/pages/books/CL183-125/geoffrey-myers/church-point-boatshed-pittwater-nsw 

Pasadena at Church Point, Pittwater Update: January 2018

On Tuesday January 23rd, 2018 Good Food published a page announcing the Pasadena Restaurant in Church Point will reopen in March this year under the partnership of restaurateur and bar operator Paul Schulte (Cargo Bar and Chophouse) with Pasadena owner and local resident Paul Peterkin.

The article states the pair will open a 160-seat seafood grill with an accompanying boutique hotel will follow mid-year. 
Mr. Schulte, who lives up here too, has former Hugo's and Quay chef Alex Tawning, another local, overseeing the menu.

In 2017, pre the local government elections, it was announced by the state government installed administrator on August 9th,  that council would be compulsorily acquiring the site and bulldozing the premises. 

The announcement didn't take into account what the owners may want to do with their asset, as no discussion had yet taken place, a range of laws and rules that apply to compulsory acquisitions by councils, nor the sale notice of 2012 (the site sold for $2.4 million) which clearly displays 'Previously DA approved' (Building Approval A212/63 was issued by Warringah Shire Council for 3 shops, an estate agent's office, 3 storerooms, toilets, vestibule, restaurant, kitchen and storeroom and a concrete terrace area, which later formed part of the covered eating area on the northern side of the building, 13 motel rooms on the first floor and common laundry, plant room, private laundry and store on the second floor.nor what the broader community may want.

Residents Associations (Scotland Island Residents Association, Church Point Friends and the West Pittwater Community Association) held a protest on Saturday 16th of December 2017, stating the offshore community has grown over the years resulting in increasing pressure on car parking and this will only add to the problem. They are also concerned the community will lose access to the Crown Land on the water side of Pasadena which is used by locals and day visitors.

Others were upset when we all lost, on December 8th, 2017, that wonderful painting by Nettie Lodge which became the logo for the Gone Fishing Gallery when it occupied the then leaking premises prior to the sale.

On Wednesday Pittwater Online News spoke to Mr. Peterkin, a local himself for over 25 years, who stated that "Of course people will be able to access the front area. It's Crown Land and the pathway is still there and will still be there once refurbishments are complete."

Will there be space on the walls for local Artists works and could they be sold through the venue?
"You have to be community based and supportive. Of course we would be happy to do that."

In the past people have been and remain concerned about parking issues - do you have any plans in place there?
"Parking may be alleviated by mini bus to and from venue and surrounding area for patrons, from say Mona Vale in. Something we are looking into There's also a new car park being finished and the public car park adjoining the venue. "

Residents would be aware that Jonah's at Palm Beach has a minibus that picks up passengers arriving by seaplane or from the surrounds, whether simply dining or staying in one of their rooms for a night or weekend. There is also a private wharf at the venue for those who prefer to stay on the water and a water taxi service that's based locally.

Pittwater Online News' Facebook page linking to the Good Food article on Tuesday has attracted comments such as;
"Good news for Pittwater!"
'We were married there 18 years ago this March. So glad to see it being reborn! A beautiful spot that will always hold a place in our hearts.'
'Hope it goes ahead, we got married there 23 years ago this November. Would definitely come to the restaurant and stay at the hotel, great location.'
'I love this place as well'.

The post was seen and read by 2332 people within hours, or 10 to 17 times that amount if you go per Facebook social media algorithms on on-shares (27) and likes/ loves etc. By late Wednesday it was 3192 people reached and on-shares was x 42. There was not one negative response.

A similar post on August 9th attracted stats. of 5,631 People Reached and 91 on-shares (although this was over a week and a half, not hours).
Comments then ranged from
"Agreed 100%'
"Its Church Point as I remember as a child. The good times we had at the Pasadena are still with me. It would be the ideal wedding venue or restaurant. Stop pulling down our heritage buildings. The Pasadena is Church Point." 

The 'Stop pulling down our heritage buildings' and fury that a local business may be lost, without any kind of consultation prior to the pronouncement, was echoed in emails to Pittwater Online.

Residents wrote they wanted the Pasadena on Pittwater to still exist due to its historical aspects for Pittwater, and for a potentially future site for creative ventures or displays and performances by creatives(which is why Pittwater Council were bidding for the site in 2012 too), as much as a source of employment and enjoyment. Younger residents in particular have been keen to hear when the venue will open as a source of part-time work for them if studying or as an option for a career in the hospitality industry.

Mr. Peterkin echoed this feedback, stating that he too had been approached by people while working on the site who all were looking forward to the reopening. 
"One couple just recently who have returned here from overseas related eating here during the 1950's and how much the place meant to them." he said.
"Sydney is losing so many of these places that are invested with connection to community and which have so many memories associated with them. To hold on to and keep these is very important for those who have been married here, or got engaged or just have history associated with the Pasadena. They're also important for those who are younger and want to know what happened before them and what can happen here in the future.

When I stand down here at Church Point on the grounds you realise this site and place is unique, it's one of a kind in Australia and to the rest of the world."

Late last week an inquiry made through a councillor on behalf of residents on what was happening brought the response;

Is the acquisition proceeding?
"If council is unable to reach agreement through direct negotiation, it intends to proceed with a compulsory acquisition with the aim of returning the waterfront site to the public for open space. The process for compulsory acquisition cannot commence until at least 6 months of negotiations takes place between the parties."

"After the site is acquired, council will engage with the community to create a masterplan for the area, with the intention to convert the majority of the site to public open space as well as provide suitable buildings to accentuate public use of the area."

Suitable buildings?: new loos, picnic shelters, or....

Will this matter come before council to make a decision on whether or not to proceed with the acquisition?
"The matter is not required to come before council to make a decision on whether or not to proceed with the acquisition. The authority to acquire the site has already been provided under the Council Resolution dated 8 August 2017. Pending the outcome of the negotiations the CEO may however choose to raise the issue before council again prior to acquisition.

Six months of negotiations, if they commenced immediately, would date to February 9th, 2018. If later, then they meet the March scheduled reopening - which is sure be a gala affair after such a saga!

Meanwhile, back at Church Point, the owners have been getting on with; employing local tradesmen, installing a palm garden and choosing the umbrellas that will provide extra shade in the garden, polishing up the private wharf so boat owners can arrive by water to sit by the water, and finalising a seafood menu and wine list to complement such fare.

Palm Trees installed, Dec. 18, 2017 - from Pasadena Instagram page

A new website and Instagram page, listing "PASADENA Waterside Boutique Hotel & Restaurant " are already up and running.
One post on the instagram is asking:
" Who wants to get a tan whilst they work and be part of the rebirth of an icon? Share the message we are looking for staff for the big open very shortly!! Please direct message me or email ellie@pasadenasydney.compasadenasydney "

So more jobs for locals into the future too. The instagram picture to go with:

Now all that needs to occur is parking being eased by the new car park being installed at Church Point, where at least 60 spaces of the 120 new ones will be available for lease, located on the top level, at $4,939 pa + yearly CPI increase (although many residents state there still won't be enough parking at Church Point), and as the continued opportunity to dangle your legs over the seawall into the Pittwater at the front of the Pasadena site is not in peril, people young and a bit older than that are looking forward to the March 2018 reopening of the Pasadena.

Crown Land access path still intact - Dec. 18, 2017 - from Pasadena Instagram page

Gone Fishing Gallery at Waterfront Store Church Point

Open in the top room Waterfront Store. Open mainly weekends as an addition to the waterfront cafe. Keep up to date on their Facebook page  Email: info@gonefishinggalery.com.au