Mixed-used building gets green light in West Melbourne
The City of Melbourne has endorsed a five-storey mixed-use development at a prominent West Melbourne corner after knocking back an original proposal for eight storeys.
The $40 million plans propose to feature food and drink shops, offices, recreation facilities, and a children’s play space at the vacant corner of King and Rosslyn streets, which faces Eades Park.
Developers Holder East King Pty Ltd received the green light for the 21.25-metre-high development which it said would have activated commercial frontages to King St, Rosslyn St and Eades Park, ensuring a “high level of pedestrian amenity”.
The Hayball Architects-designed plans were endorsed at the council’s Future Melbourne Committee meeting on November 22 after the original application sought an eight-storey mixed use development, which attracted 36 objections.
“Following notice, the applicant amended the proposal in response to the approved West Melbourne Structure Plan and a review of the proposal at the Melbourne Design Review Panel,” a council report said.
Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said the planning application was of a “really high standard” and delivered on the council’s vision for West Melbourne.
“I think overall we’ve landed on a really outstanding design, and I think that’s really important because this is a signature site in West Melbourne,” he said at the council meeting.
“It’s a gateway site to the city. It’s probably the first big commercial application we’ve received since the conception of the West Melbourne Structure Plan.”
“This is really setting a precedent and that’s going to apply across the whole of West Melbourne, and I’m delighted to be able to say that it sets a really high standard.”
Cr Reece noted the original application for the site at 501-527 King St “did push the envelope of our preferred eight storey height limit and the applicant came back to us with a more well considered five storey proposal”.
“This was then taken through the Melbourne Design Review Panel, which recommended several important changes to the exterior design and the internal layout of the building. I’m delighted that the applicant has accepted most of those recommendations.”
Speaking on behalf of Hayball Architects at the council meeting, Alex Ray said from the beginning of the design process, “the product team had a unique vision for a new type of development that would support and complement the emerging character of the West Melbourne neighbourhood”.
He said among their primary goals was creating a “landmark place for friends and family to gather and support an emerging residential precinct and of course offer a new retail experience plus Melbourne”.
“The arrangement was developed in response to a significant change of levels across the site and contributes to a rich interconnected sense of place.”
Chair of the North and West Melbourne Association Kevin Chamberlin said the proposal was “indicative of a substantial change in the thinking at the council and the development community about the uses of these new buildings”.
“The council and developers have relentlessly been producing apartment developments, many of which never got off the ground,” he said.
“This is one of a number of sites in North and West Melbourne where other uses are being introduced.”
“A good example of the benefit is the number of employment opportunities that will be provided to the local people.”
Mr Chamberlin said the previous “relentless approval of cookie cutter-style apartments” added to the already “excessive demand on the social and civic infrastructure in North and West Melbourne”.
“Proposals like this are really helping to develop the concept of the mixed-use area planned by the council at least 15 years ago.”
The West Melbourne Structure Plan identified Spencer St as the new local activity centre while respecting the area’s unique character.
The council report noted while the approved development was not located on Spencer St, “the mix of uses is considered appropriate in this location noting the development will be located on a large site on a prominent corner adjacent to King St and a public park”. •
Caption: Council have endorsed a plan for a mixed-use development at the corner of King and Rosslyn streets, West Melbourne.