Evolving Port

Port Melbourne and Fishermans Bend change. Houses are changed or demolished and new forms of housing take their place. Port Houses records some of these changes.

25 November 2016

143 Station & 367 Princes St, Port Melbourne

October 2020

143 Station St, October 2020 
25 November 2016 

A fire broke out in the house under construction in Princes St around 2.30am. It is being treated as suspicious. Little now remains of the newly built house in Princes St, where the fire started, but the charred, blackened framework. The fire damaged the houses on either side as well. The house, which has been built over the past 18 months, is part of the development that runs through to Station Street.

367 Princes St, after the fire

September 2016
Taking shape 
June 2015
143 Station St 15 06 2015
Princes St frontage 15 June 2015
29 August 2014
The VCAT decision
VCAT approved the development with some significant changes. The following points from the decision explain their thinking in relation to heritage:
  1. 'The purpose of the Heritage Overlay is to ensure the development does not adversely affect the significance of a heritage place. The character of Station Street near the subject site could mostly be defined by the infill housing stock built in recent years. Most of the precinct significance is derived from the railway reserve itself. The intact collection of small scale workers cottages in Princes Street on either side of the subject site are consistent with a defined fine grain and single-storey housing pattern from the late 19th and early 20th to centuries.
  1. Given the diversity of the housing stock in both streets, I consider that a different design approach is required for each dwelling. Both heritage advisors considered the existing dwelling to be of no contributory value and had no issues with its demolition, however they did diverge as to the style of the two replacement dwellings. Although there was some agreement that a contemporary design approach could be appropriate to both street frontages, that would be not possible particularly for Station Street if there was a more intact area with listed buildings.
  1. With 135 Station Street to the east having a maximum height of 6.2 metres and 141 Station Street to the west having a height of 5.8 metres to the ridge. Therefore, the considerable amount of the third floor will be visible from oblique angles looking along Station Street. Setting back the top level from both side boundaries would considerably reduce the visible bulk of this building from front on and oblique views and this is the mechanism that has been successfully adopted with a number of three-storey dwellings that have been viewed as part of the site inspection in the surrounding streets. 
  1. Now that the design of Unit 2 (Princes St frontage) has been reduced to two-storeys, the issue of height and its relationship to the adjoining buildings is not as critical. Princes Street is considered to have a highly consistent streetscape in terms of building scale, era and detail. There is only one exception in this part of the street, being No. 369 that contains a single-storey brick cottage with a single carport in a side setback.'
06 03 2014
Read more of the decision here

6 March 2014
Agent Frank Gordon’s pitch for the property was that ‘Once in a while, a superb allotment becomes available in one of Port Melbourne’s best positions, fronting Station Street’s picturesque parkland, city light rail, bike path, and just a stroll to Bay Street’s cafes and the sandy beachfront’.
The property has frontages to Station and Prince Streets. The property was sold for $1,140,000 on Saturday 22 September 2012. A planning application to demolish the existing dwelling and construct two, three-storey dwellings was refused on 29 11 2013 and is now at appeal to VCAT.

    18 September 2016

    166 Dow St, Port Melbourne

    June 2017

    Completion and a new life.

    August/September 2016

    Shortly after the planning permit was approved, the house was demolished. Construction began soon afterwards with the two townhouses taking shape rapidly (18 September 2016)

    Bob York, a former resident of both 164 and 166 Dow St has kindly shared these photographs and some of the history of the house.

    166 & 164 Dow St photo: Bob York c1956

    164 with 166 Dow St in the background c1967 photo: Bob York

    21 June 2016

    Approval was given for an amended planning application for 'construction of two double storey townhouses, including two double garages and swimming pool' (source: City of Port Phillip planning permit register 635/2015/A)

    7 October 2015

    Application no 635/2015 has been lodged for the construction of two (2) double storey dwellings and rear garages with studios. (source: City of Port Phillip planning permit register)

    28 August 2013

    166 Dow St, Port Melbourne is for sale. 

    What's your pick: a redevelopment opportunity or an unusual - for Port - family home? 

    The house, and its neighbour 164, was built by Claude Plumridge. His business was the Ideal Drum & Cask Company. His son Stan played 156 games for Port between 1929 and 1956. He was named at full back in the Port Melbourne Football Club Team of the Century.

    166 Dow St, Port Melbourne

    December 1999

    Then owners of 166 Dow St submitted to the Port Phillip Council when it was preparing Planning Amendment C5 that 164 and 166 Dow St be removed from the heritage overlay as they were non-contributory buildings. The submission was supported by the Council and the Panel considering the amendment.

    03 June 2016

    104 Princes St, Port Melbourne

    3 June 2016

    104 Princes St is for sale by Marshall White. Its attributes - no heritage overlay, two street frontages and approved plans for a new four to five bedroom home - suggest code for demolition. 

    28 April 2015

    Planning application 1258/2013A is for construction of a new, two storey dwelling and two storey garage/studio to the rear. 

    30 April 2016

    266 - 268 Esplanade East, Port Melbourne




    The planning permit phase

    A planning permit was issued by the City of Port Phillip for the demolition of two dwellings and the construction of a new two storey dwelling. (reference Application Number 598/2011) - a bit puzzling since there is clearly a second dwelling on the site.


    Changing hands

    I barely remember this house, sold in 2010, for $1,500,000
    image: Chisholm & Gamon

    23 April 2016

    126 Heath St, Port Melbourne



    Changing hands

    image: Cayzer Real Estate 
    image: Cayzer Real Estate 
    The house at 126 Heath St was sold by private treaty for $710,000 on 29 August 2008.
    (source: www.domain.com.au)

    17 Nott St, Port Melbourne

    December 2017

    At the meeting of 12 December, the Council will decide on the application for a four storey building on this site.

    January 2017
    Demolition is underway of the former home of Kevin Palmer.

    The works proposed are
    • demolition of the existing dwelling (permit not required
    • construction of a four storey building comprising car parking, office space and residential dwelling (application 904/2016 lodged 10 10 2016, approval given 17 01 2017)

    April 2016
    The former home of Kevin Palmer sold on 9 April 2016 for $1.38 million. The property was sold by Frank Callaghan of Frank Gordon. 
    Kevin Palmer was a legend of Port Melbourne who lived all his life in this house. 
    This is the last remaining house in the section of Nott Street between Beach and Rouse Streets.
    His story came to be seen as a symbol of the great change in Port Melbourne - One house said it all.

    74 Station St, Port Melbourne

    2015 - complete

    June 2012
    Application 539/2012 was lodged with the City of Port Phillip on 27 June 2012. A permit for the demolition of this dwelling and the construction of a two storey dwelling and front fence was issued with a permit on the 26 October 2012.

    May 2012

    source: Cayzer
    The house at 74 Station St was sold for $915,000 on 1 May 2012

    13 March 2016

    151 Esplanade West, Port Melbourne

    October 2016

    Stone wall added.

    Almost complete - but not quite

    151 Esplanade West, 28 October 2015

    The site cleared.

    18 11 2013
    The Planning Permit phase


    Planning Permit 1048/2012 for construction of a two-storey dwelling with basement and roof terrace. (Permit issued: 30 05 2013)

    In this transition period, waiting for the permit, bicycles appear.

    151 Esplanade West, 17 May 2012

    Changing Hands

    151 Esplanade West, November 2011

    This house belonged to a Maltese man who arrived in Melbourne on the Flaminia in 1960. He worked as an engineer at Swallows.
    He was taciturn, not very friendly - a heavy smoker. He had a very prized car. Even when he became very ill, he was reluctant to part with it. He was supported in his final years by his neighbour Peter Syriakis. 
    The house was considerably modified, but the original house was still there, behind all the changes. The property was sold by Frank Gordon for $850,000 on 17 December 2011 noting that there was no heritage overlay.

    09 February 2016

    26 Stokes St, Port Melbourne

    Planning application 1225/2015 was lodged with the City of Port Phillip on 16 11 2015 for the demolition of the dwelling to construct a new four storey dwelling with basement car park and roof deck.

    05 February 2016

    46 Lyons St, Port Melbourne

    30 May 2016

    A new house on the site of the former garage/workshop. 

    46 Lyons St, 2017

    13 September 2013

    Next door to this house, just to the right, was a garage. Before the house was offered for sale, the former owner's family held a garage sale. Her father had worked on the Railways, his daughter told me. His meticulous collection of tools was laid in front of our hungry garage sale eyes. I bought a few terracotta pots that I've planted up. 

    I like taking a bit of Port with me from one place to another.
    46 Lyons St, 2013

    04 February 2016

    262 Esplanade East, Port Melbourne


    Hard to believe it's the same house.


    The side wall revealed briefly, and now gone.

    Permit 884/2013 was issued by the City of Port Phillip on 24 June 2014. 

    31 01 2015

    in between - April 2015

    2013 - a bicycle appears in this transition phase

    image: house.ksou.cn

    sold on 29 April 2013

    The house was sold by Frank Gordon. At the time of sale, the adjacent property was a vacant block.

    Graham St, Port Melbourne

    3 October 2015

    30 January 2016

    199 Ross St, Port Melbourne

    December 2019

    The townhouses are complete and are occupied. The timber garage doors contribute positively to the streetscape.

    December 2019
    June 2018

    The site has been cleared.

    June 2018
    February 2018

    199 Ross St was sold on 12 February for $1,950,000 with approved plans for two townhouses.

    April 2016 


    The grab rail tells that a person grew old in this house. The garden is unkempt and the house looks weary. The property awaits the outcome of the planning permit process.

    Garden inventory

    Two roses, two substantial camellias and some decorative palms.

    November 2015

    'A Classic of its Era'

    This home, completed c1972, was in the same hands until it was sold by Greg Hocking at auction on 28 November 2015 for $1,350,000. The property has rear access from the lane behind.

    29 January 2016

    The story of 154 Farrell St, Port Melbourne

    When a new house becomes a home, the starkness softens.

    24 January 2011

    Why 154 Farrell St has steps up to the front door

    154 Farrell St in July 2005 - image David Thompson

    In summary:

    The Council supported a two level replacement building for 154 Farrell St. It was then referred to Melbourne Water which required an additional 1.2 m in height due to a predicted increase in flood levels. This makes the dwelling seem uncomfortably high in the street.

    In more detail:

    Port Phillip Council policy requires respect for the scale and form of neighbouring heritage places, but does not prohibit two storey buildings next to single storey buildings. The step of an additonal level from one to two is considered reasonable.
    154 Farrell St is located in a Special Building Overlay [SBO] in the Port Phillip Planning Scheme. The SBO refers to areas that are: 'liable to inundation by overland flows from the urban drainage system as determined by, or in consultation with, the floodplain management authority' [extract from the Special Building Overlay 44.05] 
    Planning applications in a SBO must be referred* to the floodplain manager - in our case Melbourne Water. Melbourne Water required that the ground level of the building be increased in height by an additional 1.2 m.
    This has led to the dwelling looking considerably higher than it would have been as just a two storey building.
    *A responsible authority [the Council in this case] 'must give a copy of an application to every person or body that the planning scheme specifies as a referral authority for applications of that kind without delay' 
    [cl 55, Planning and Environment Act]

    History of Farrell Street

    The precinct within which 154 Farrell St lies has been examined and recorded in great detail by researchers Margaret and Graham Bride and David Thompson. The precinct is bounded by Evans/Farrell/Williamstown/Bridge St. The award winning cd History of a Street Precinct can be obtained from the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society through inquiry at the Assist desk at Port Melbourne Town Hall/Library.

    Here is a snippet of the history of 154 Farrell Street

    The owner of the house in 1895 was Francis Arthur Hildebrand, born in Prussia in 1833. He married Matilda Potbury whose father was a fisherman in Port Melbourne at that time. They had eight children. He operated the general store, now a brick house, on the north eastern corner of Farrell/Derham St. He later became a civil servant.

    Information and photo courtesy of History of a Street Precinct, Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society.

    28 January 2016

    100 Nott St, Port Melbourne

    December 2015


    March 2015

    The Planning Permit Phase 

    Planning permit 58/2013/A was approved by the City of Port Phillip on 5 March 2015 for the construction of two double storey dwellings. It follows an earlier approval in 2013.

    Planning application 958/2013 lodged on 10 October 2013 for the construction of 2 two storey dwellings.

    Architect: John Matyas

    30 September 2013 


    100 Nott St is a heritage remnant in a mixed streetscape between Liardet and Graham Streets, Port Melbourne. It is not covered by a heritage overlay. Its likely future is foreshadowed by the walls on either side. Early in 2012, I spoke with the elderly owner. He was looking forward to moving to a more modern home closer to his family following the death of his wife. He anticipated the replacement of his house with a development comparable to the ones next door. He regretted that the garden was no longer what it had been when he and his wife were able to maintain it. But he wasn’t regretting the house.

    25 January 2016

    67 Bridge St, Port Melbourne

    A perfect pair
    Planning application 845/2015 has been lodged for partial demolition to the rear of the existing dwelling including all outbuildngs and construction of ground and first floor extensions to the rear. (source: City of Port Phillip planning permit register)