Historic Salvation Army Home in Dee Why Transforms into Luxury Wellness Spa

Dee Why is witnessing a transformation as the historic 130-year-old Pacific Lodge, a former Salvation Army hostel, is set to become the centrepiece of the new Hamptons development. 

The heritage-listed Pacific Lodge building on Fisher Rd, which dates back to 1892, will be integrated into the modern apartment complex, retaining its timeless elegance whilst catering to the changing needs of the community.

Hamptons, developed by the renowned Rose Group, promises an exquisite collection of one and two-bedroom apartments, with a limited release of rare three-bedroom apartments and finely-crafted penthouses. The development – CC2023/0372 will be situated on the scenic Fisher Road, offering captivating views of Dee Why Library, Council Chambers, the town centre, and the vast Pacific Ocean. 

According to Paul Ferrari, Head of Projects for Upstate Realty, the Pacific Lodge will play a pivotal role in the development’s design and landscaping. Working with heritage consultants, they aim to bring back the building to its former grandeur, preserving its rendered masonry, corrugated iron-hipped roof, tall chimneys, and veranda adorned with cast iron balustrades and columns.

Ferrari revealed that Rose Group had sought a particular tenant to complement the development and provide minimal disruption to the residents. As a result, the Pacific Lodge will be converted into a high-class wellness facility, featuring spa and beauty services. The building, being part of the strata, will have a single tenant, ensuring the preservation of its historic charm.

Dee Why Hamptons

The Pacific Lodge holds immense historical significance, originally built as a Salvation Army Home of Rest for officers in need of recuperation. Over the years, it transformed into a centre for the treatment of ‘inebriates’ and later served as the Pacific Lodge Aged Men’s Home. The Salvation Army eventually sold the property in 2016 for $25 million and moved its residents to new facilities in Collaroy. 

Recognising the importance of this heritage-listed building, public access to the Pacific Lodge will be maintained, allowing visitors to experience the wellness spa services. The site’s public footpath, the Dee Why Heritage Walk which is a part of the heritage listing, will also remain accessible from Fisher Road. 

Hamptons and the refurbished Pacific Lodge are scheduled for completion in early 2025, offering a seamless blend of contemporary living and historical elegance.

Published 21-July-2023

Discover the History Behind Dee Why’s ‘Pacific Lodge’

The historic ‘Pacific Lodge’ on Fisher Road was built as a Home of Rest for the Salvation Army officers and was entered into the heritage list for its association with Elizabeth Jenkins, whose family once owned all of the foreshore lands from Mona Vale to Dee Why.

The Salvation Army Home of Rest, later known as Pacific Lodge, was originally built in 1892 for officers in need of a place to recuperate and later turned into an aged care centre. The historic building, which has turned 130 years old, traces its roots to the Jenkins family who at the time was the largest landholder on the northern beaches.

James Jenkins: From convict to the largest landholder  

Brothers James and William Jenkins arrived in Sydney in 1802 aboard the Coromandel. They were convicts serving the remaining two years of their seven-year sentence for allegedly stealing sheep when they transferred to the colony.

It didn’t take long and James was able to acquire land and was farming at Ryde before joining his brother in farming another land. They later traded farming for boat building at Darling Harbour.

Seven years after the death of his brother, James, who was already married at the time, was granted 20 hectares of land at Roseville and returned to farming. Their land holding expanded with 81 hectares of land from North Narrabeen to Mona Vale which were bequeathed to his eldest daughter, Elizabeth.

Soon after, James will acquire further blocks of land that by 1825 the family already owns all of the foreshore lands between the present-day Mona Vale Hospital to Pacific Parade at the southern part of Dee Why Beach.

Elizabeth Jenkins and her ties with the Salvation Army

Following James Jenkins’ death in 1835, Elizabeth took over the decision-making duties concerning the family’s landholdings.

In 1885, Elizabeth Jenkins, who was an ardent supporter of the Salvation Army and its work, donated the organisation about 12 hectares of land located at Pipeclay Point, Narrabeen Lagoon and an additional 17 hectares at Dee Why between 1890 and 1892.

The organisation decided to build a retreat house for officers to rest and recuperate, which Elizabeth supported by donating £400 to help with the construction of the Salvation Army Home of Rest. 

“Substantial elevated single storey building of rendered masonry. Corrugated iron hipped roof with tall rendered chimneys. Verandah on 3 sides with cast iron balustrade, columns & valence. Balustrade panels specially made with the letters “SAHR”. Sympathetic refurbishment works have been undertaken. Restored verandah includes original cast iron balustrade panels. Adapted for use as administration offices for “Pacific Lodge” – State Heritage Inventory – Environment NSW citation reads.

An industrial farm was later built near the Home of Rest in the mid-1890s but was closed several years later and the land where the facility once stood was sold.

After Elizabeth died in 1900, all her property was transferred to the Salvation Army, further expanding the organisation’s landholdings. The Salvation Army then established a two-storey facility for the treatment of ‘inebriates’ which operated until 1939 when Salvos built the Pacific Lodge Mens Eventide Home.

The Salvation Army sold the 1.6-ha property in 2016 to Rose Property and built a new 50-bed facility for its elderly residents in Collaroy.

In 2019, a proposal to build three buildings of up to seven storeys high at the site was given the green light. The 130-year-old building will be retained for adaptive reuse, subject to a future development application.