Industry in Alexandria has come a long way since the early nineteenth century. Settlement of the area dates primarily from 1868, when many terrace houses and cottages were built. By the early 1900s the area had become predominantly industrial, due to proximity to the rail yards and brick works. The first industries to appear, grain mills and wool washing were surrounded by pastures, sand hills and swamps and only accessible by horse and dray, or on foot over a bumpy dirt road.
Then the noxious trades came out of the city and set up in amongst the market gardeners. There were still very small numbers of residents in the area at this time, with larger residential areas in Redfern, Newtown and the city. At the end of the nineteenth century the industries grew and the noxious trades were joined by manufacturers such as joiners, founders and engineers. Market gardening was overtaken by the secondary industries and improved roads and transport meant goods could be delivered to the ports much faster.
During the two World Wars and in their aftermaths the area expanded even further into large scale industry and planned factories. After mechanisation and expansion had reached its peak the area’s industrial profile changed again. Technological change and the expansion of service industries brought a different kind of manufacturing industry to the area.
By 1943 more than half the land area of Alexandria was taken up by industry, which had replaced many residential areas. In 1949 Alexandria and Waterloo, along with other municipalities were incorporated into the City of Sydney Council. The council lines were redrawn again in 1968 with the founding of the South Sydney Municipal Council, which included much of the area that would become Green Square. In 1981 South Sydney Council was amalgamated back into the Sydney City Council for eight years until South Sydney City Council was founded in 1989. This Council lasted until it was merged once more with Sydney City Council in 2004 and continues today.
The Venue Alexandria at 55 Doody Street Alexandria is located on the original site of Hannanprint. It is part of the Sydney Corporate Park complex which is spread over almost 17 hectares and had been developed by the Hannan family since 1985.
In 1961, a joint publishing venture was formed between the Hannan and Packer family companies, Australian Consolidated Press and Fairfax Suburban Publications Pty Ltd, merging five competing papers into three. After 34 years of outsourcing the printing of their newspapers and magazines, the group acquired its first web offset press in 1968. In 1986 Hannanprint Sydney relocated to Alexandria and was named the largest one site printing facility in the Southern hemisphere. Hannanprint continued to expand in 1991 with the opening of a new Melbourne site at Noble Park. In 1997 Hannanprint Sydney proudly printed the largest ever issue of The Wentworth Courier at 368 tabloid pages, a world record in community newspaper publishing.
In 2013 the Hannan family sold the site to Goodman and moved their printing production to Warwick Farm. Sydney Corporate Park is now home to more than 90 businesses, estimated to be employing over 6,000 people.