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Images above are from 1974 during Centre's contruction.
Since opening in the mid-1970s, MarketPlace Leichhardt has been a neighbourhood hub for local communities. In 1975 The McNamara Group originally developed the Centre as Leichhardt Market Town. Local Government Super purchased the Centre in the early 1990s and rebranded it Leichhardt Market Place.
The Centre has continued to evolve with refurbishments, GLA expansions, rebranding, repositioning and sustainable upgrades and retrofitting. In 2016 the Centre commenced a $10m upgrade project including installation of an escalator to Marion Mall and refurbishment works to the central mall amenities. Works continued into 2017 with the installation of two new elevator units that will provide easy access from the basement car park to upper levels that completed in June 2017. The finals stage of upgrade works involving the installation of travellators to replace the outdated pedestrian ramp between the upper level and roof top car park, and Food Court upgrade were completed end November 2017. A Bright New MarketPlace relaunched on December 2, 2017, in time for Santa's Arrival and Christmas.
A brief History of Leichhardt
The traditional owners of the Leichhardt area are the Wangal of the Eora language group. Leichhardt began its existence as a number of land grants. In particular two brothers Hugh and John Piper had a number of large grants between them. Hugh Piper established "Piperston". This estate was bought in 1846 by Walter Beames who was a friend of Ludwig Leichhardt. Beames assisted Leichhardt with provisions for his explorations and he also changed the name of "Piperston" to Leichhardt after his friend.
Italian migration, which had begun in the 1920s, increased rapidly after WWII and Leichhardt became largely influenced by Italian culture, particularly the cafes, but also with the production of the newspaper "La Fiamma".
1917 Italian Nationals came to Australia and settled in Leichhardt in the area between Balmain Road and Hill Street, establishing businesses, religious and cultural institutions.
1921 The Leichhardt Municipality held its Jubilee Carnival.
1928 First road concreting - Norton and Marion Sts.
1941 Balmain Cemetery became a public park and was named Pioneer's Memorial Park.
1946 Capuchin Order arrived in Leichhardt to attend to the needs of the Italian community. This order established the paper La Fiamma.
1947 Increase in Italian migrants, who settled in Leichhardt because of the availability of unskilled work, affordable housing and the outreach work of St Fiacres Catholic Church to the Italian immigrant population.
1949 The Municipalities of Annandale and Balmain amalgamated with Leichhardt Municipality.
1954 Associazione Polisportiva Italian-Australiana (APIA) founded.
1957 APIA Club established its base in Norton Street moving to Fraser Street in 1961.
1958 Buses replaced trams.
1968 Glebe transferred from City of Sydney to become part of Leichhardt Municipality.
1994 Leichhardt Municipal Council adopted officially as corporate name.
From Leichhardt.nsw.gov.au/Library/Local-History/Our-Suburbs/Leichhardt/Leichhardt. To go to site, please click here.