Is this Frankston's time to shine?

Is this Frankston's time to shine?
Mark BaljakJanuary 2, 2014

So long considered the 'derriere' of Melbourne, Frankston is quietly going about the process of regeneration and reinvigoration as a host of new developments eye off the Bayside locale. Far from the gaze of mainstream CBD developers and media for that matter, Frankston in the eyes of many has yet to shrug the 'Bayside Bogan' tag; and somewhat unfairly many would argue!

Under the guise of the Frankston Activities Area, the renewal of the area's city centre is central to facilitating Changes to land uses, building size and design and public spaces, and inform the location and types of housing, businesses, community facilities, transport and infrastructure that people want to see in Frankston. Although the process of determining a suitable Structure Plan is continuing, a number of projects over all stages are in the pipeline, with the regeneration of the Peninsula Centre a development beachhead.

377 Nepean Highway

Is this Frankston's time to shine?

Fake palm trees aside, Asian Pacific Group's regeneration of the infamous Peninsula Centre seems to have acted as a catalyst of sorts for further development in Frankston. Derided by many, including Barry Humphries as The worst building in Australia once upon a time, the complex reopened during 2013 as a Quest franchise and is formally known as Peninsula on the Bay. The 10 level structure that was near inexplicably tied to Frankston's negative connotation now lives on as a residential, commercial and retail hub, drawing people into the Frankston CBD.

10-12 Davey Street

Is this Frankston's time to shine?

Currently at sales, Airio Frankston according to Property Subdivisions was Prepared by Denton Corker Marshall Architects, for a multi storey mixed use development comprising a café and health club at ground level, 89 residential apartments within floors 1 -13 and associated basement car parking. The development adopts a contemporary form with a key design philosophy to incorporate a ‘floating’ element above the ground level podium in response to the existing buildings that are subject to a Heritage Overlay (HO49), whilst the levels above are designed to maximise premium views towards the bay and the central Melbourne city skyline to the north west and views towards the bay and Port Phillip Heads to the south west. At ground level the public realm is activated via the introduction of a café within 10 Davey Street and associated alfresco terrace, whilst a health club is proposed within 12 Davey Street.

73 Wells Street

Is this Frankston's time to shine?

Fronting Kananook Creek, Probuild has commenced construction on South East Water's new headquarters. Designed by BVN Donovan Hill, the complex will eventually accommodate 700 South East Water employees currently worked across three sites in Heatherton, Lynbrook and Dandenong South. At the time Water Minister Peter Walsh was quoted as saying The consolidation, which had been in planning for 18 months, would also provide a boost to the Frankston economy... Frankston was chosen as the most appropriate site for South East Water's head office because it is the most central location for their business, which services Melbourne's south-east suburbs, Pakenham, Bunyip and the Mornington Peninsula.

16 Clyde Street

Is this Frankston's time to shine?

An upcoming ten level residential complex of 177 apartments, the development if built will activate Clyde Street between Balmoral Street and Station Street whilst providing additional serviced apartments to Frankston's CBD. Design Consortia Australia describe the project as being Adjacent to the food court entry at Bayside Shopping Centre, this is an island site fronting a paved pedestrian mall. Designed as a serviced apartment development of 125 apartments of 1 and 2-Bedroom apartments in the lower levels, it also comprises 52 upper level 2 and 3-Bedroom apartments which capture the panoramic bayside views offered by the location.

451-455 Nepean Highway

The work of Singaporean architecture firm K2Ld, 451-455 Nepean Highway is the tallest and most interesting of all potential developments for Frankston. The 18 level complex is defined by a bust of Rodin's The Thinker - an interesting, unique activation of podium space and in somewhat of an oddity the original Thinker. When conceived in 1880 in its original size (approx. 70 cm) as the crowning element of The Gates of Hell according to Museum Rodin... and some would say how appropriate for Frankson no doubt. Not yet a planning application, a design of this quality would do wonders for Frankston.

1 Balmoral Street

Is this Frankston's time to shine?

Not every upcoming Frankston project is of a large scale, with a likely redevelopment of 1 Balmoral Street in the offing. Whether it eventuates or not, a redevelopment demonstrates that equally important to new buildings breathing life into the city centre is the regeneration of existing stock.

444 Nepean Highway

Is this Frankston's time to shine?

Quoting Doig Architecture, Located on Nepean Highway and overlooking the Kananook Creek and Port Phillip Bay, this site offered an exceptional opportunity to raise the quality of apartments on offer in the city. The design envisaged a mixed use complex providing three tower forms above a four level podium. A new urban courtyard links Nepean Highway to the Kananook Creek precinct and provides an address for Retail, Commercial Office and Apartment entries. The full complement of 300 apartments in 1 and 2 bedroom formats would be delivered in stages, over the podium which offers 4,000sqm of retail and commercial office space. Parking provisions for 350 cars is provided in basements beneath the Nepean Highway level.

Unfortunately no crystal ball exists as to if and when these projects will be delivered but it seems that Frankston won't miss out on the consolidated, higher density and vertical way of living that is now prevalent throughout City of Melbourne and surrounds. In coming days will look at a current planning application that will further augment Frankston City into a high-rise enclave.

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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