23 September: At some stage on Saturday night or early Sunday morning “Evict the rich” and “Developers f— off our city” were spray-painted across the windows of Cooley Auctions headquarters in Double Bay. The locks of the office were also filled with super glue.
Damien Cooley, from Cooley Auctions suggested the incident could be related to the scheduled auction of 164-166 Wilson Street, Newtown, a warehouse in Newtown that had been used as a long-running squat. It sold for $1,725,000 under the hammer.
“As well as spray-painting all sorts of colourful words they also spray-painted a symbol,” Mr Cooley said of the vandals. He said the symbol, an O with a zig-zag through the middle, also featured on a banner that appeared outside the Newtown squat.
Last month police evicted squatters from the warehouse. They had reportedly been occupying the building since 2001. The squatters were given notice ahead of their eviction and had left the premises by the time police arrived. At the time, several residents told Fairfax Media they had belongings locked inside the property.
On Monday night there were 20 registered bidders keen on the 145-square-metre warehouse. Marketed as an “abandoned parkside warehouse” with “limitless redevelopment options” it sold to a family who plan to restore it and move in. “They loved the facade and the historical nature of it and the character and want to bring it back to life,” said selling agent Anthony Puntigam from Bradfield Cleary. Mr Puntigam would not disclose the reserve price but said it went for “well over”. “It was possibly the most keenly sought-after property I’ve had for a long long time,” he said.
On early Monday morning a man from Enmore was arrested man has been arrested after allegedly planning to vandalise real estate agencies affiliated with the government sell-off of public housing at Millers Point. He was arrested close to the head office of McGrath Estate Agents in Edgecliff.
Acting Inspector Matt West, of Rose Bay police, said the man was found with “references to McGrath and other real estate agencies affiliated with the Millers Point sales”. “He has been charged with possessing graffiti implements,” he said. It is understood he was accompanied by two women who were not arrested.
Officers from the Rose Bay proactive crime team approached the man as he walked towards the building on New South Head Road and chased him through the streets towards Darling Point. He allegedly threw away a can of spray paint while he was running.
It is not known whether the two incidents are related.
The head of the Millers Point action group, Barney Gardner, said “we don’t condone that sort of thing”. “We conduct peaceful protests outside the auctions,” Mr Gardner said.