Built in the 1800s, the original Crowell’s business was devastated in a 1901 fire which destroyed a major portion of downtown Sydney. That year, together with new partner, Prouse Bros., Mr Crowell began reconstruction. By 1910, Crowell had become the sole owner of a flourishing operation selling everything from food delicacies to oil cloth.
In 1946, his failing health led Mr. Crowell to sell the business to the Hickey brothers of North Sydney. For many years, Crowell’s prospered and continued to hold its own despite changing patterns of shopping in the later part of the century. Nevertheless, in 1999 after a long and successful career, the Hickey’s decided to close the store.
After several years of inactivity, New Dawn Enterprises, in partnership with Chessman Investments Ltd. (Musicstop), saved the property from demolition and turned it into a viable commercial enterprise.
In 2005, Crowell’s Reality Ltd. became the home of eight independent commercial businesses which now employ more than 45 people.