Think this one may have hit a wall, apartments no longer selling, website is down.
mmm construction tender currently out
interesting...they must have all sold out then, website is still down though. oh well good news!
Yes, block out some of that Brady crap
133 lot subdivision has been applied for, generally happens close to or during constrcution
Anyone know what the spencer st facing side looks like?
Most likely a blank wall
The tarp thats been hiding the 1860's building they are going to demolish slipped down recently
should have retained facade and inserted a void above it, then tower
Either that, or maybe we should actually just respect what remains of our gold rush heritage, full stop. A setback and perhaps a few additional storeys might be appropriate for such a rare historic site (in fact the last remaining link to the Fish Markets opposite).
^^ say for instance two near identical proposals are put forward for air space above baltic imports, the only difference being one is of 5 levels and the other 35.
in the truest sense of the word both bastardise the existing building so what difference between 5 & 35 levels above - is it merely a sense of overpowering what is already there with too many levels?
regardless it should have been kept...
^ Yes, basically. 5 levels would also be more cohesive with the surrounding heritage streetscape on that block than 35, plus it's unlikely a 35 storey tower could be built with a proper amount of setback from the facade. 5 levels also allows for a more cohesive and sympathetic design, setback more from the facade,
Though if the choice was between an outstanding 40 strorey tower with a strong heritage response (something pretty rare these days) and a bland 5 storey addition, I know what I'd choose
Demolition has begun
Sheer cultural vandalism. Goodbye to another beautifully intact 150 year old set of buildings from Melbourne's gold rush.
Agree Bilby, but what can you do? The land is too valuable to leave undeveloped. I can understand how developers think but it doesn't mean I agree with them.
A skinny tower ala Phoenix wedged behind a re-used and restored building would have been ideal
Easy to say in principle but sometimes the reality is very different.
I just hope they paint the blank walls really..
Why do we have such low expectations in this city? The outcome here is just poor in so many ways - we are losing liveable Melbourne day by day. The 'value' of land in the city is determined by a range of things - that's why we need a stronger planning scheme with clear expectations that heritage buildings are to be protected. Then there would be no expectation of being able to demolish crucial civic assets like the Baltic Fish Co. buildings. Of course, we are just one of a number of global cities wrecking their past and their local design qualities: http://urbantimes.co/2013/08/losing-the-plot-in-buenos-aires/
Out of curiosity how many projects of this or of a similar scale have you had an involvement with in a purely professional capacity? Either as a developer or consultant.
Further to the above let's say you purchased the site for $3.8m and based on your morals you decide to retain the building.
What would you do with it? Keeping in mind you need to spend X amount to ensure it is brought up to a standard the meets the requirements of the National Construction Code including accessibility, fire regulations etc.
Laurence, that is not a relevant argument when we are talking about our shared cultural heritage. So many of Melbourne's very best buildings were lost in the '60s and '70s using identical justification to yours. By your logic, you should have zero problem with knocking down the GPO, Flinders Street Station or the National Mutual Building. Fire reg compliance alone was used to justify the demolition of some of our greatest buildings. Secondly, it is not relevant what experience I have in a 'professional capacity'. A respect for culture and a willingness to engage in civic activism is, fortunately, not a professional endeavour. I wish more people were as committed to working for the social good of their city as the vocal and active residents of New York, for example. Other cities manage to maintain a balance between development and retaining heritage fabric - I don't see what makes us different to London, New York or Yangon, for that matter. I actually remember back in 1999 or so seeing the Baltic Import building up for sale and contemplating purchasing it myself - I think it was about $285k at the time, from memory. Also at the time, I was aware that it was heritage listed, so prospective purchases understood that the price was lower due to its grading as an important cultural relic. Had CofM and the Planning Minister stuck to their guns and maintained a policy of preventing wholesale destruction of these kinds of listed places, the price wouldn't necessarily be $3.8 million today. Secondly, $3.8m isn't that expensive for a historic building of this size when you compare with the prices of other heritage listed individual dwellings around town. Here is a recent example of a VHR listed church building in Fitzroy (single dwelling) @270 m2 and $3.4million: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/boom-times-for-fitzroy-20120616-20h14....
I don't see what would stop someone from purchasing a building like this and adapting it into a set of larger townhouses or even a single dwelling or restaurant / boutique B&B, etc. (assuming it was no longer attractive for major redevelopment due to a binding Heritage Overlay). Alternatively, a modest 5 story addition would have provided another potentially viable commercial development option. And finally, for your interest, here's a recent case from New York city, where a very valuable site was saved from demolition by neglect by a beefed up Landmarks Commission - New York's guardian of the city's incredible legacy of historic places: http://www.nylandmarks.org/advocacy/preservation_issues/conservancy_test...
The point here is surely that we ought to have a heritage regime that mandates retention of buildings that are 150 years old?
Why should Bilby have to have experience with a developer in order to have a valid view on heritage issues? That is an asinine attempt to invalidate contrary views.
I would suggest the same for anyone who has no experience of heritage except that would be thick-witted and antidemocratic.
What developers deserve is the kind of certainty that a more rigorous heritage (and overall planning) regime would create. So you know which sites you can purchase with a view to wholesale demolition, which to adaptive reuse and which you won't be able to touch. The effect of this would be forcing developers more on to the plentiful eyesore sites, and the city keeps its 150 year old heritage.
There are two discussions here.
1. Does our heritage regime adequately protect our heritage. That is where the activists/non professionals need to lead the discussion to get meaningful change.
2. Is the reality of our current system and how development economics, planning rules and other things play out. That is where Laurence's 'professional experience' question comes from.
Heritage overlays have for years not been adequate protection for heritage buildings (especially to the extent that bilby thinks they should be protected). Under the planning scheme all a heritage overlay requires is that heritage is 'considered' when an application is made. Without a heritage overlay if a council relies on 'heritage' to refuse an application they'd be laughed out of vcat, with an overlay all of the other considerations of the planning scheme (economic development, encouraging urban development, encouraging ground floor activities, locating development close to services (like in the CBD) etc.) are used by the developer to argue for as much flexibility on their land as possible in delivering on those other principles. Now most of it is semantics and comes down to how a developer best sees a profit but that's the system we have.
If you want to change the system talk about the system, gain a quorum of support and lead change.
In the end this building is probably unlucky in its location... If it was in the east end of the city or probably any of the 'littles'' it would have been. Ought by George calombaris or some boutique law firm or a bar operator and made for a perfect classy, heritage, one of a kind boutique building.
I tend to agree with Laurence.
It's easy to sit there in your armchairs and make judgements about what should be retained and what can go but if you've shelled out millions and you have your proverbial on the block, the harsh reality sets in quickly. I doubt any of you have ever been involved in developments like this so you wouldn't have the first clue as to what is doable and profitable and what is not.
Besides i didn't' hear anyone 'crying for me Argentina' for the 1960's brutalist AGE HQ now being demolished but you all were outraged that a 1960's brutalist carpark is threatened on Russell st.
Having said that I do wish that perhaps something could have been done to retain the old fish shop but im not one to judge as i dont have all the information in front of me to make a really informed decision... and neither do any of you.