Gurner development of Fitzroy's Spanish Club approved by VCAT

Gurner development of Fitzroy's Spanish Club approved by VCAT
Gurner development of Fitzroy's Spanish Club approved by VCAT

The Gurner development of The Spanish Club in Fitzroy has now been approved by VCAT as a result of Supreme Court win earlier in the year.

There will be no changes to the original plans outlined that were denied by the VCAT earlier this year.

The decision has come two years after the project was first submitted for approval.

The proposal was first denied a permit at VCAT in May this year on a minor technicality surrounding a neighbouring property, despite the project having general support from VCAT.

Gurner then appealed the decision in the Supreme Court in June and later won the case due to the developer being “denied procedural fairness”, according to the judge.

The appeal allowed the developer the opportunity to re-submit the project to VCAT under a different panel, but not before Gurner™ held three mediation dates with council and neighbours in order to ensure all initial objections could be mitigated.

In what represents a full circle for the developer, the project was finally awarded a permit for 38 apartments over seven levels across the 787sqm site by VCAT with not a single change to its original plans, which include a new Spanish bar and restaurant and clubhouse facilities for The Spanish Club at ground level.

The project is being designed by Warren and Mahoney and will incorporate Spanish-inspired interiors that will be unlike anything on the market currently.

“This has been a long and difficult process but we are happy to be able to put it all behind us and move forward with our plans to reinvigorate The Spanish Club along with our original plans that we first submitted to VCAT two years ago,” said Tim Gurner, the company's founder and director.

“We are now preparing for an early 2018 launch. 

“Fitzroy is an area I feel so passionate about, we have been developing in this area for over ten years and have been working with some of Melbourne’s best restauranteurs and winemakers to not only develop quality apartments, but also to deliver world-class cafés, bars and restaurants at the ground level.  

Under the proposed agreement between The Spanish Club and Gurner, the developer was to absorb the Club’s debt and transfer ownership of that debt into the developer’s name to ensure that the banks could not pursue the Club for costs whilst the redevelopment was ongoing.

Established in 1969 along Fitzroy’s effervescent Johnston Street, The Spanish Club was founded by Padre Eduardo Sanchez, the Chaplin to the Spanish, who persuaded the Spanish government to partially assist in purchasing the building to serve as a social centre.

The club was originally called The Spanish Roman Catholic Mission, before later being renamed ‘Hogar Español’ meaning Spanish home.

The club quickly grew to become a home away from home for hundreds of Spanish immigrants settling in Australia in the late 50s and early 60s, and over the years it evolved to offer extensive social and education opportunities for the Spanish and wider community.


Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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