Piedimonte joins the development movement

A Fitzroy North institution is in line for an overhaul, as Piedimonte Developments Pty Ltd pushes through with an apartment complex on their current and well-recognised supermarket site.

The existing supermarket will be levelled, as will a number of adjoining properties, in order to make way for an expanded supermarket with residential living above. 27-45 Best Street and 102-114 Scotchmer Street are subject to the development application which was received by City of Yarra during August.

The proposal spans the prominent 3,715sqm corner site and carries a combined street frontage in excess of 100 metres.

Piedimonte Developments along with architect Peddle Thorp and town planners Contour Consultants have teamed on the proposal, asserting that the development would satisfy the need for urban consolidation on this strategically placed redevelopment site.

Piedimonte application summary

Artist's impression of the proposed development. Planning image: Peddle Thorp
  • Redevelopment spanning 7 storeys, highest point adjacent to Best Street
  • Expanded supermarket over ground/mezzanine levels: 2,894sqm retail & 1,763sqm back-of-house
  • 877sqm bottle shop
  • 89 apartments above: 23 x 1BR, 62 x 2BR, 4 x 3BR
  • 3 basement levels: 164 car parking spaces
  • 86 bicycle bays
  • Amenity: roof garden and terraces
  • Estimated cost of development: $45 million

Heritage retention

Scotchmer street frontage. Planning image: Contour Consultants

The site includes lengthy street frontages, with an attempt made by the design team to visually manage built form across these interfaces by way of scaling new structures to match the existing streetscape.

Two separate existing frontages will be retained and restored as part of the development, owing to their heritage significance.  25-31 Best Street on the development's south-east corner and 102-114 Scotchmer Street which includes frontage to Egremont Street across the site's north-west corner will be incorporated.

Their facades will be restored, with the buildings retained to a depth of 3 metres.

Limited opportunity 

The St Georges Road outlook is set for change. Planning image: Peddle Thorp

Piedimonte Developments' bid if successful would see the corner site join only a handful of contemporary apartment developments created in Fitzroy North. 

In recent years Adio Properties delivered Aquila Apartments nearby at 496-500 Brunswick Street, whilst Blue Earth Group was behind the creation of Northwood at 392 St Georges Road. The latter project contains 71 apartments over 6 levels, with a retained heritage facade to St Georges Road.

Cranecorp have a current proposal adjoining Northwood at 378-390 St Georges Road, although the highest profile development in the area is GURNER's bid for 26-56 Queens Parade.

Approximately one kilometre from the Piedimonte site, that project is by far and away Fitzroy North's largest as GURNER pushes for near on 300 apartments plus townhouses within a COX Architecture-designed scheme.


Bilby's picture

3m setbacks from Scotchmer Street? On one of the inner north's most intact heritage streetscapes? This is facadism, plain and simple, and it has no place in Fitzroy North. Minimum setbacks of 5 metres, with the built form recessive when viewed from the other side of the street is a reasonable concession ... maybe. How did we get to this point of ignoring the local heritage provisions almost entirely? Do planners actually understand what the Heritage Overlay requires?
Nowhere does it mention "retain facade only", and in fact strictly discourages this practice.
This one will be a significant test for the Yarra councillors and VCAT, who will no doubt be the final arbiter here.

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George D's picture

This won't happen. City of Yarra will oppose it for being too high and "out of character" with their city.

There's a reason there are very few apartment buildings in the City of Yarra.

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AGH's picture


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zenith's picture

Looks great. If Yarra knock it back (likely), it'll pass through at VCAT.

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gs.rusty's picture

Oh god, this design is a complete mess.

The scale and massing I will leave alone - clearly this site can take more development, but very little about this design is contextual or has any regard to the heritage significance of the area. Some immediate dislikes:

+ the mansard roof with the box dormers - where else in the area does this? And why possibly introduce it on this site?
+ the excessively large fenestration at first floor level. Fine at ground floor, but surely the design team picked up that fenestration patterns are finer at first floor and above in the area. Why depart from that here, what's the purpose?
+ the incompatible mix of architectural styles - it's like a three level wedding cake, with each layer designed by people who hate the people designing the other layers. There's no coherent story in the design.
+ the lack of vertical emphasis and fine urban form. This will look bulkier (and out of context) than it needs to as a result.

I would hope this prominent site is worthy of something a little better thought out and contextual.

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theboynoodle's picture

Your last two criticisms apply to so many buildings, and I couldn't agree more. I think they are linked.. the 'wedding cake' approach seems to be an attempt to reduce the appearance of bulk by varying the styles, but it's always applied horizontally and, as such, fails entirely whilst simultaneously trampling all over the vertical forms that precede and surround these buildings. Actually, your point on the roof is also part of the same issue. Top levels are (surely?) often done that way because it's thought that this will disguise them somewhat (and, in fairness, I've seen buildings where that works ok).

I don't understand it. The city is full of buildings that fail because of this, and buildings that haven't done it and have succeeded. How hard is it to notice this and design accordingly?

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AGH's picture

100% agree @GS.RUSTY

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Bilby's picture

Curiously, I am also in agreeance, GS.Rusty and AGH. That is rare on this fine site.

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onionhead's picture

I hope this is an ambit claim!!! It hard to see Yarra approve something vastly different to Baroongna Nagin. This is a progressive council.

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damo's picture

There is a meeting tomorrow (Saturday 25/11) where Joe Piedimonte and his architects are going to present their proposal to the public. Makes me think they've had quite a bit of concern from the public and want to hear it from the people directly. Interesting approach. Think they'll get getting an earful.

These are the details

*** Piedimonte Q&A - Sat 11:45am - at New Library ***

Joe Piedimonte and his team will be answering your questions, at the end of the community Ward Meeting with our councillors.

Ward Community Meeting this Saturday from 11am - 1pm
@ Level 2, Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library

Joe Piedimonte and his architect/s will be there to answer the community's questions on their proposed development - From 11:45am

The councillors took up the community feedback on where North Fitzroy community meetings should occur :-) They asked Joe and his team to appear, and Joe agreed.

So the extra hour has been added to the Ward meeting for community consultation on the Piedimonte's development proposal - for those who prefer their local meetings - local.

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