An apartment sales campaign looks imminent for one of Melbourne's more contentious and long lasting development sites, referred to as Nelson Place. In recent weeks Dalton Consulting Engineers have been appointed to handle civil infrastructure matters and the like whilst Icon Construction currently have phase one of what will be known as Waterline Place listed online as an active construction tender.
Comprising 83 apartments and two retail tenancies, the initial development phase will include a six level SJB Architects-designed complex as seen below. The completed development will potentially see 20 level towers and in excess of 800 dwellings.
Formerly the Port Phillip Woollen Mills, the site is bound by Nelson Place (north), Kanowna Street (east), Cecil and Aitken streets (south) and Ann Street (west). Carrying a handful of historic structures, the development site has been subject to a decade of wrangling between Hobsons Bay City Council, the Save Williamstown action group and proponent, Evolve Development.
The long-running saga prompted developer Ashley Williams to deliver this broadside in response to the development and parking concerns raised by opposing bodies:
A bunch of what I'd say are fairly selfish established residents, who have benefited from property price rises, make it very hard for developers to respond to that demand. They forget that the changes that led to the parking issue have meant that there are more people around, more cafes, the place is a more vibrant retail centre, the supermarket and greengrocer open later, so you can't have it both ways.Ashley Williams, "Developer furious at 'selfish' residents" (news.com.au), February 27, 2013
It was argued by Save Williamstown that the development would:
Ultimately VCAT ruled in favour of the development as was reported during January 2013, dismissing a number of gauzy claims above.
The overall site is broken into 14 separate lots according to the graphic above. Save Williamstown provides a concise summary of events and applications to date, where Stage One will involve Lots 1,2 and 3 with permitted plans allow for the demolition of the 1800's Oriental Hotel and provision for 142 dwellings by way of apartments and townhouses.
Lot 2 situated on the Nelson Place and Ann Street intersection holds the 6-storey apartment building which rises 19.6 metres above ground. Hobson Bay City Council's Built Form Outcomes seeks “A prominent building which provides emphasis to the corner of Nelson Place and Ann Street” and “A building that incorporates innovative façade articulation and limited sheer walls.” Vertical louvres look to be design response.
Subsequent stages are expected to see building heights rise to 9 levels, with the potential for multiple 20 level apartment towers considered likely for latter stages of the project. Expected to stretch toward 2020, the overall program is envisaged to deliver 700 apartments and 100 townhouses, although given the size and elongated delivery period for Waterline Place final numbers are unknown.