Council apprehensive over the revamped 939-apartment 8 Hopkins Street

Council apprehensive over the revamped 939-apartment 8 Hopkins Street
Mark BaljakJuly 27, 2015

Hot on the heels of the news that a further 380 apartments have been approved within Footscray's Joseph Road Precinct, 8 Hopkins Street has re-emerged under the guidance of a new developer/architect combination.

After the site's sale via a public EOI campaign, St Kilda Road-based Golden Asset Group now maintains control over the 13,000sqm land holding, with Kavellaris Urban Design responsible for the redrawn plans which seeks approval for 939 apartments. Superseding the initial Hayball scheme with 795 apartments over one, two, three, loft, studio and townhouse options, the rejigged design calls for one and two bedroom dwellings to be progressively built over differing development stages.

In a report due to be tabled toward the end of July, Maribyrnong City Council's City Development Special Committee has been directed to rebuff the development in its current form, owing to a number of planning concerns.

The revised 8 Hopkins Street in brief

Council apprehensive over the revamped 939-apartment 8 Hopkins Street
Artist's impression of the development. Image courtesy KUD
  • Vacant island site of 13,100sqm
  • Six building development over three stages
  • 10-24 levels with maximum height of 64.9 metres
  • 939 dwellings: 568 x 1BR and 371 x 2BR
  • 17 commercial tenancies with a total area of 3,592.5sqm
  • 690 car spaces, 320 bicycle spaces and 53 motorcycle spaces included
  • Amenities including a gym, pool, running track and podium top terrace

An eventful planning history

The former Le Mans Toyota dealership is in the heart of Joseph Road Precinct, falling under the control of Places Victoria after the agency paid $21 million for the land asset. The Victorian Government's property development agency then went to planning with the aforementioned Hayball scheme in mind.

The application was first referred to Maribyrnong City Council during 2013 by the Minister for Planning, which envisaged eight buildings of up to 24 storeys. Coinciding with the assessment of the Hayball masterplan was a sales campaign which saw 8 Hopkins Road offloaded to an undisclosed buyer near the turn of 2014.

Golden Asset Group initiated demolition works onsite during early stages of 2015, with the bulk of all structures now non-existent. The Adjoining Riverina project as the first development within Joseph Road Precinct to advance to sales, is set to proceed with construction tenders now current.

Council apprehensive over the revamped 939-apartment 8 Hopkins Street
The early masterplan design for 8 Hopkins Street. Image courtesy Hayball

Recommendation to the City Development Special Committee

Areas of concern as outlined within the Council report concerning 8 Hopkins Street:

  • The proposal lacks dwelling diversity (typology and size).
  • The revised proposal shows little regard to Better Apartments Discussion Paper May 2015 as released by the Minister for Planning. It displays many flaws and issues affecting residential amenity.
  • Proposal is yield driven and window dressed with superficial activation to disguise the shortcomings of a mass overdevelopment.
  • All dwellings are too small and 25 per cent of dwellings are south facing.
  • Building massing is poor, bulky podiums, blank frontages, landscaped podiums will suffer from induced winds.
  • Visitor spaces are proposed to be shared by the retail spaces and will place further pressure on on-street parking demands.

Consequently the report recommends that the City Development Special Committee (read Maribyrnong City Council) advises the Minister for Planning that it objects to the revised 8 Hopkins Street proposal.

Consistency doesn't pay…

Within Maribyrnong City Council's analysis of 8 Hopkins Street is mention of the four approvals granted to date within Joseph Road Precinct, namely Riviera at 18-24 Hopkins Street, 10 Moreland Street, 2 Hopkins Street and The Tannery at 4 Neilson Place.

Including 8 Hopkins Street, Council is critical of the quintet in that none provide public, social or affordable housing options, little or no office space/meaningful employment generating uses and limited space allocated toward entertainment, recreational or community facilities. From the local council's perspective the same points of concern have arisen on every occasion.

Maribyrnong City Council have evidently been nothing if not consistent in their opposition to certain aspects of the proposals within Joseph Road Precinct to date. Ultimately though the final decision in determining whether 8 Hopkins Street is fit to join those projects already approved within the precinct lies with the Minister for Planning.

8 Hopkins Street planning team

  • Developer: Golden Asset Group
  • Architect: Kavellaris Urban Design
  • Landscape: Hansen Partnership
  • Planning: Urbis
  • Building Surveyor: PLP Building Surveyors
  • Traffic: Cardno
  • Structural Engineer: Robert Bird Group
  • Services Engineer: ADP Consulting : Engineering
  • Waste: Leigh Design
  • Wind Consultant: MEL Consultants

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

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