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And they're leaving: Harold Park for sale

THE historic Harold Park track in Glebe, home to harness racing since 1902, will be sold, paving the way for the NSW Harness Racing Club to move its headquarters to south-western Sydney and leaving the huge inner-city site open for development reports John Schell with Alexandra Smith in the Sydney Morning Herald of October 27, 2008.

More than 300 members voted 90 per cent in favour of selling Harold Park at a specially convened meeting yesterday.

The club's chief executive, John Dumesny, said the sale was subject to a minimum price being set at $150 million, and there were already "offers on the table" for the site. The University of Sydney is believed to be interested.

The university had hoped to build a harbourside campus for 5000 students at Callan Park in Rozelle, but its plans were scuttled last week when the Minister for Planning, Kristina Keneally, agreed to hand the heritage site to Leichhardt Council for use as public space. It is unclear whether the university has similar plans for Harold Park.

Mr Dumesny said the sale would take some time to complete. "Under the registered clubs act we still have to have it as an open tender," Mr Dumesny said.

"There is a lot of planning work to go ahead. We expect the process to get to a position of sale may take as long as two years. We'll see what the validity of those offers are, now that we are in a position to proceed," Mr Dumesny said.

Menangle Park will eventually host all the club's Friday night meetings held at Harold Park, including the Miracle Mile and the InterDominion series when it is in Sydney. Mr Dumesny said the club was "already well down the track" in plans to install racing lights at Menangle.