“THE DUKE “ Newsletter December 2018


The ongoing saga of a new Supermarket for Freshwater Village continues, with the expansive retail space at 22-26 Albert Street remaining empty for the foreseeable future.  Neither the developer, Chris Rose, nor the lessee, Karellas Group, is commenting and rumours abound. In an attempt to get accurate information, Friends of Freshie wrote to the Managing Director of the Karellas Group, Vasili Karellas seeking a date for commencement of trade. As yet, no response.


The probable, anchor tenant of the Retail space in the “Freshwater”complex is likely to be the Karellas Group, who are associated with the IGA/Metcash for basic grocery items, but operate under the Supamart brand for other supplies. 

If the experience from its other 6 sites (Cremorne; Rose Bay; Pyrmont, Pennant Hills; Blaxland and Rozelle) is anything to go by, it probably will attempt to offer a one-stop shopping experience focussing on fresh local produce. The Group is fast growing, after its successful initial foray into supermarket operation at its Cremorne site. It has converted the old Festival Records site in Pyrmont to a supermarket as well as the former Tram sheds factory building at Harold Park, near Glebe. Its MD, Vas Karellas is 42 and his brother, Andrew, is 40 and both are closely involved with every stage of the business.

Their arrival in Freshwater cannot come soon enough although latest mail suggests a March/ April start.


Due to the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables for the near future in the Village, Friends of Freshie surveyed the community with a Facebook site Poll to determine interest in a regular fresh fruit and vegetable market at a site near or in the Village.

The response was heartening with 2500 views of the poll and nearly 1,000 engagements. The following was the voting response: –

Would you like to
see a Farmers
market in Freshwater Village?

278 votes 94.6 %
  No 16 votes 5.4%
If you had a choice
between a Farmers market or
parking spaces on a Saturday/Sunday,
which one would
you choose?
Farmers market 258 votes 87.8%
  Parking spaces 36 votes 12.2 %


Based on this response we have written to Northern Beaches Council seeking its support for the Market in 2019. We are aware that the highly successful Frenchs Forest Markets will soon be looking for a new site as their current one is about to be demolished. An opportunity arises.


The arrival of a big end of town parking operator, Wilson Parking, into the Freshwatercomplex at 22 Albert Street, is a concerning development. This is so, because no other public or private parking in the Village is subject to a per hour charge or a specified free period of one hour. This sets a worrying precedence given that it is based on the assumption that all those coming to the Village for shopping can conclude it within an hour. Overstaying in this car park will cost $6.00 for the second hour, $11 for the third and $18 for the fourth. It is also a cashless payment system. 

In no other nearby shopping centre is there such an impost provision.

At the time of writing, not one car was parked in the car park even though it has been open for more than two weeks. 

The Freshwater Village planning requirement makes provision for a specified amount of public parking space. In the case of the Freshwater complex there is provision for 58 car spaces. This underground car park was meant to take cars off the Street and increase the ambience of the Village. If people boycott it, it will have failed.

A critical factor in the life of the Village is the linger factor. This is where people can come to the Village to do a range of things including supermarket shopping and other activities including banking, hairdressing, dental services, real estate transactions and of course café and coffee consumption.  Together these require more than an hour to conclude, and the parking fee incurred will have an obvious negative impact. It will undoubtedly force avoidance of this car park, and into nearby streets.   It could also force other Village privately run car parks into per hour charging.

Our community wants to encourage people to come to Freshwater Village, not deter them. 

The newly established Body Corporate of the Freshwaterclearly did not give any thoughtful consideration to the negative impacts of this anti-community initiative.


Five commercial and residential holdings in Lawrence Street, Freshwater, extending from the arcade through to Dowling Street were put up for sale by the owner, for $30m.  These properties are the largest single land holding in the Village and have been owned by the Zakos family for many decades. Expressions of Interest closed on November 14 and the suits+ clipboards were all over the Village at the time.

Apparently they are no longer for sale.

The Friends of Freshie is concerned that many of the shops are now empty with no apparent urgency to be filled. This includes 4 shops in the Arcade. Advertising signage atop the premises is also outdated and needs to be removed. Likewise, toilets are in need of upgrading and fire protection systems brought up to modern day standards


Soon to open in Freshwater Village are shops catering for a wider culinary taste. The former pharmacy site in the Plaza will open as a creperie and a gelateria. We see the return of Bakers Delight to the place near where it previously existed and the arrival of Teru Sushi (a sushi train restaurant) run by Hiro’s restaurant owner Francis Kim).

These are all welcome arrivals.

Harbord Literary Institute turned 100.

It is one of the last of its kind still standing and still serving its community during the day as a community kindergarten and library, and at night as a meeting place and activities centre. Political parties have held branch meetings there since the 1930’s.

A Centenary Celebration was held on Saturday, December 1, with more than 300 in attendance.  Its history was detailed by speakers including Local Studies Librarian, Michelle Richmond, and former local teacher and historian, Keith Amos.

Everyone recounted the various uses of the Hall for a wide variety of functions. Mayor  Regan also revealed that he had his engagement party there.

In order to recognise the contributions of those now deceased who have contributed their time to the Literary Institute over 100 years, the Freshwater Community Bank has provided a community partnership grant to enable a permanent legacy of those people to be framed and placed on the wall of the meeting room. This represents a small permanent legacy of the Centenary.


As part of a community development grant gained by Friends of Freshwater Inc. for installation of public art in the Village Plaza, two northern beaches artists, Jaimee Paul and Miguel Gonzalez painted the mural with Freshwater themes across the southern wall in the Plaza. These artists were drawn from a list of community artists compiled by Northern Beaches Council. Another young budding artist, Annika Mulcahy, also has had her work incorporated into the mural complete with her signature.

The mural has been well received and is an attempt to give the Plaza more vitality.

Explanatory signage has also been erected at part of the project.


Armistice Day 2018 was a major community event held in the Freshwater Anzac Precinct memorials at Jacka Park and Soldiers Avenue of Honour with more than 500 in attendance. Both sites were formally registered in 2016 with the State Government as Community War Memorials. Soldiers Avenue has local heritage listing for both its trees and plaques.

In the wake of the Centenary, Freshwater now has 11 new bronze footpath memorial plaques installed in Soldiers Avenue beside heritage-listed trees, recognising the WW1 service of local soldiers.  Two significant bronze sculptures located in Jacka Park representing WW1 returning soldiers and nurses, as well as a commemorative bench to honour the centenary. This bench is permanently placed at the entrance to the Avenue of Honour, near its Albert St. entrance.

These legacy items were funded by various State and Federal government grants obtained by the Friends of Freshie on behalf of other stakeholder organisations.


We are indeed spoilt for excellent secondary schools on the northern beaches. The recent 2018 HSC results again confirmed the emerging academic reputation of Balgowlah Boys Campus.  It is now the most academically successful public comprehensive boys school, based both on its HSC and its Naplan Literacy and Numeracy results. In HSC English results, in particular, the Campus was 7thin the State, ahead of many Selective Schools including Manly Campus. It rose from 96 to 62 in the State overall.

Not surprisingly, parents have also noticed, with 260 boys enrolled for Year 7 in 2019, of which 75 are coming from Harbord Public School alone.

Dux of Bally was All Rounder, Joshua Smith, who also won a Freshwater Community Bank Tertiary Scholarship valued at $5,000. Joshua had previously attended Harbord Public School. His Principal, Paul Sheather, is also a proud Freshie person.


Land Care have provided a further $12,000 for professional work to be undertaken in Undercliffe Reserve. This will complement the volunteer work being done by Friends of Freshwater. If you would like to join with us on alternative Thursdays, then get in touch with us via this Facebook site or our website as per below.  You will be most welcome.

JOIN the Friends of Freshwater for 2019.

If you are thinking of becoming a member of FOF, or simply renewing your membership for 2019, then hop on line to our website at for easy subscription.

In 2019 our projects will be focussed on:             

  • Seeing various aspects of the Freshwater Coastal Space Master Plan through the planning stage including the upgrading of Beach reserve playgrounds and public amenities: completion of the missing segment of the coastal walkway from South Curl Curl Pool through to Freshwater Beach: bush regeneration of Undercliffe Reserve to bring it back to a natural state, and implementation of a Reserve Management Plan for Freshwater View Estate.  
  • Continuing to grow the Freshie Community Garden in Crown Reserve as a model of urban sustainability. 
  • Work on the next stages of the Freshwater Village Public Art project with a focus on Freshwater’s early settlers and surfers.
  • Refurbishing the Soldiers Avenue of Honour as part of the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
  • Closely scrutinising all significant Development Applications in Freshwater for compliance with planning requirements
  • Getting the basic necessities of life such as provision of fresh fruit and vegetable; and public toilets and footpaths upgraded
  • Ensuring Freshwater’s fair share of the Council Capital Budget.
  • Revitalise the weed-infested southern headland of Freshwater Beach. With volunteer and professional assistance.
  • Closely scrutinise all significant DA’s.

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