New life for an ice cream institution
Just $1.50 would buy you a baby cone so generous that locals still talk of this place with nostalgic affection.
Known throughout the Inner West simply as ‘the Ice Cream Factory’, this Camperdown warehouse is as much a landmark for its ‘Nuts About Chocolate’ flavour as for its prominence in both the Australia Street and Gibbens Lane streetscapes.
The early-20th-century building was home to Dairy Bell’s ice-cream manufacturing for some 45 years before it was sold off in 2015 when the business closed.
“It’s unusual to see a historical working factory so largely intact and, until fairly recently, still operating as a manufacturing facility,” says Shannan.
Inside, the building has been stripped back to what Shannan describes as its “pure form”, with more than 1170sqm of net lettable area over two levels and 13-metre ceilings. Recent upgrades include a centralised lift and solar roof panels. Original industrial character, such as the ceiling beams, trusses, former stables building and rustic raw finishes, remain, ready for creative adaptation.
Shannan says these features will make it attractive to multi-occupancy commercial development, but notes there’s an increasing demand to convert such properties to single residences – especially as the work-from-home trend turns long-term for many.
The location also reflects a market shift. “We’re used to seeing interest for this kind of opportunity in Surry Hills and even Chippendale, but those areas are becoming less and less viable,” says Shannan. “Camperdown is the next fringe, along with Darlington, Newtown and Redfern.”