“A lot to like”: Council endorses $45 million development for Macaulay

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Spencer Fowler Steen

A 203-apartment building which includes office space, a cafe, gym, and cinema is on the cusp of being developed in North Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne endorsed the building proposal for 77-83 Sutton St at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on August 3, paving the way for final approval from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal or the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne.

Applicant 77-83 Sutton Street Pty Ltd sought approval to exceed the discretionary nine-story height control to 12 storeys, requiring it to demonstrate how the development would benefit the broader community.

Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said there was “a lot to like about it”.

“I’m pleased to say this application does indeed demonstrate some broader public benefits,” he said.

“I particularly like the fact that the western lane exposes and provides views of the six-storey significant-graded heritage warehouse located to the west, and this includes the revealing of a heritage wall and heritage sign which I think will only add to the character of this area and make this a really desirable location for people to move to.”

The development will incorporate a food and drinks space, co-working centre, and cafe.

Communal facilities are provided on the ground floor and include a kitchen, games room, cinema and gym, plus open terraces at the podium top, according to the plan.

The council also acknowledged that the development demonstrated benefits to the community through the provision of publicly accessible pedestrian north-south and east-west laneways.

The development will also include a minimum of six per cent affordable housing.

Cr Rohan Leppert, who seconded the motion to approve the proposal, noted that the setbacks to Sutton St would reveal the former wool warehouse with its “iconic” sawtooth roof, which he said the council fought “tooth and nail” to stop businessman Solomon Lew from demolishing in 2015.

Cr Reece also said the setbacks in the design created an “appropriate massing” in the streetscape which avoided the “awkward, stepped-wedding cake” form seen too often in Melbourne.

The development is owned by BEG Developments Pty Ltd, and is designed by Point Architects.

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