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.

10 December 2019

21 Alfred St, Port Melbourne

The water tank house

December 2019

Grand Designs re-played their 2014 programme which featured this house. After viewing it, some people wondered how the house is looking today. The following photographs show the house in December 2019.

from the corner of Alfred and Unions Sts December 2019

Alfred St west of Union St December 2019

The Alfred St streetscape on the eastern side of Union St
December 2019

2 November 2015

Something's up with the waterwall house.

29 July 2014

The H house was designed by Howard Raggatt & Peter Charles. It was a project of Ashton Raggatt Mcdougall, For my thoughts on the H house, visit Port Places

7 April 2013

June 2012

The site is cleared.
21 Alfred St, June 2012 

20 July 2012

The waterwall house replaced this modest dwelling. 

Union St frontage of Folly cottage

Folly Cottage, cnr Alfred & Unions Sts, Port Melbourne

A very rich, full life was led at 21 Alfred St. Home to Janne Ray and her family and to Norma Barnett in the last months of her life.

Peter Charles H-House 2011

25 November 2019

23 Evans St, Port Melbourne

November 2019

23 Evans St, Port Melbourne

"NO HERITAGE OVERLAY" introduced the property which was sold by Marshall White on 15 November, although the listing also included the possibility that it might be renovated.

22 November 2019

286 Rouse St, Port Melbourne

17 August 2021

Today was the anniversary of the site of the All England Eleven Hotel as the first property connected to the Melbourne sewerage system on 17 August 1897.

February 2020

The apartment development has been vacant for almost a year, because of unresolved issues relating to the cladding used on the building.

The Victorian Building Authority is refusing to allow occupancy permits to be issued.

The authority warns that, if it did issue occupancy permits, new owners could end up carrying the repair bill. (source: The Age 5 February 2020, 11.27 pm)

November 2019

The development is complete. The plaque commemorating that this site was the first to be connected to the new Melbourne sewerage system in 1897 has been seamlessly re-instated into the footpath.

to the corner - Princes and Rouse Sts, Port Melbourne

plaque in the Princes St footpath 

11 September 2018

The scaffolding is removed to reveal ...

January 2018

Status report

286 Rouse St, 14 January 2018
May 2017

On 27 April, a new builder was appointed to complete the development after a long hiatus. Excavation by the previous builders apparently damaged neighbouring houses and building work halted. 

12 January 2016

It doesn't take long. Graffiti despoils Sable Bleu. The information booth has disappeared - perhaps it was not approved?

Marketing for 286 Rouse St, January 2016

27 November 2015

By the end of the week, the display suite for Sable Bleu is in place. There are 14 apartments in this 4 level development, advertised as residences.

Architects: Selwyn Blackstone

Advertising for the development at 286 Rouse St, Port Melbourne

24 November 2015

Trees gone. Site almost clear.

Demolition underway at 286 Rouse St, Port Melbourne

14 November 2015

The houses on the corner of Rouse and Princes St are being demolished.

The demolition of 286 Rouse St, Port Melbourne 

May 2015

The Council supported the application with conditions on 19 May 2015 PO953/2013.

286 Rouse St in the autumn - May 2015

The All England Eleven Hotel was formerly on this site. Refer to the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society website for more information. 

It was also the first site to be sewered in all of Melbourne.

During the sale period, people expressed their views about the development potential of the site.


286 Rouse St - the planning application is advertised

09 November 2019

101 Salmon St, Port Melbourne

23 October 2019

The application for 101 Salmon St returned to the Council for their views on an amendment to the approved scheme.


On 21 May 2015, the Minister for Planning approved a permit for a twelve level (including a four-level podium) mixed use building, including ground level retail, first floor level offices, car parking and 157 dwellings.

At the time of approval, the land was in a ‘Discretionary preferred height area’ (i.e. no height limit) per the Fishermans Bend Strategic Framework Plan July 2014.

The land is vacant. The  development has not started.  The permit has been extended twice.

The Council had reservations about the amended application since it

  • included no affordable housing
  • was 7.6 m higher than the previously approved proposal, even though still a twelve storey building.
  • four storeys and 15.1 m higher than the 30m (8 storey) preferred maximum height in the Fishermans Bend Framework Plan.

The Council resolved to advise the Minister that it did not support the amended proposal.

Refer to the Council meeting papers for 23 October 2019 from which this information is taken.

Look at the renders.


This 12 level (37m) development by CHT Architects was approved by the Minister for Planning on 21 May 2015.

Mark Baljak All on my lonesome > 101 Salmon St, Port Melbourne Urban.com.au May 24 2014

16 September 2019

131 Graham St, Port Melbourne

September 2019

Bulloughs corner shop

Lois Collinder writes:
"One of my earliest memories is sitting in Mr Bullough's grocery shop next door watching him weigh the sugar and tip it into brown paper bags. He'd also cut off pieces of butter from the large yellow slab for the ladies coming in with their coupons. I still remember the smell of the produce and Mr Bullough putting up the shutters every night. The cardboard mobiles advertising biscuits swayed in the breeze and the sawdust on the floor was soft beneath my feet. If I was a good girl I might get some broken biscuits from the tin or a pennyworth of chocolate balls in a paper cone."

Edwin Whiting recalls:

"The bench was always scrubbed clean and there was sawdust on the floor. He put lollies in a paper cone that he made from white paper."

from Memories of Port, Port Phillip Through My Eyes
Port Phillip Seniors' Festival Writing Competition, 2008

24 August 2019

80 Bridge St, Port Melbourne

24 August 2019

The house at 80 Bridge St was sold on 24 August.

For once, the agents acknowledged the rich past of this modest dwelling, the family home of Edith and Ron Amy.

"This fabulous Victorian home has provided forty years of love and laughter to the family, now it's time to see new owners enjoy the same benefits and the potential to restore the home to it's original beauty and incorporate 21st century lifestyle living."

Shout out to Chisholm & Gamon

23 August 2019

139 - 145 Montague St, South Melbourne

May 2020

May 2020

August 2019

The 'renowned' Olympia Gym has gone. The premises are being leased by Conquest.

Holding up the corner of Montague and Thistlethwaite St since 1991
Olympia Gymnasium's facebook site says: "After 28 years of inflicting pain, Paul is pulling down the roller shutter for the last time.

Everyone who calls the gym home knows that Paul is here from 5.30 in the morning to 10.30 at night, 365 days a year.

Paul has decided he needs some time out. So, with mixed emotions, he is closing Olympia. Sad to be closing, naturally. But also deeply grateful to the members who have chosen to work out at Olympia over the years. So many stories, so many memories.

Thank you to everyone who has made the journey to Montague Street since 1991."

29,000 vehicles pass this site every day, according to a VicRoads traffic report. (source: Conquest)

11 August 2019

150 - 160 Turner St, Lorimer, Fishermans Bend

August 2019

The site has been cleared of all vehicles. Passion fruit vines have been planted along the fence, as well as some citrus trees. 

Something is afoot!

150 - 160 Turner St, August 2019

150 - 160 Turner St, August 2019

April 2019

The site is reported to have sold for between $8m, according to The Age (9 April), less than the $10m owners Gary Brill and John Ayres had been seeking a year ago. It was last sold in August 2001
for $1,050,000 (realestate.com.au)

A permit was granted for a 36 storey building in July 2016.

150 - 160 Turner St, May 2019

The 2,618 sq metre site was acquired for $1.05m from the state government in 2003.

July 2018

150 Lorimer St is for sale by Colliers with a permit for a 30 level building.

July 2016

A planning permit was issued for a 36 level building in July 2016.

Architects: Artisan Architects

11 October 2015

While the Minister for Planning is the Responsible Authority for this application in the Lorimer Precinct of Fishermans Bend, the City of Melbourne’s comments were sought

At its planning meeting on 6 October, the Council resolved to write to the Minister advising that they did not support the application for a 30 storey building on a number of grounds including that

  • a majority of apartments rely on borrowed light
  • there was insufficient setback from Turner St (which is proposed to be a linear parkway)

    Unprepossessing 150 Turner St
    • there were insufficient setbacks between podium and tower
    • there were unreasonable wind tunnel effects at ground level
    • it would exceed the density contemplated for Fishermans Bend in the Strategic Framework Plan, was distant from public transport, and would put strain on community services and facilities

    Report to the Future Melbourne (Planning) Meeting 6 October 2015

    02 August 2019

    161 Buckhurst St, South Melbourne

    January 2021

    The property is for sale.

    The property is for sale by ICR Property Group

    August 2019

    161 Buckhurst St will become Lenny. There will be only one apartment on each of the five levels.

    The property will be developed by Eton Property Group. Its attributes:

    "With a 94% Walkability Score rating, everything you need is within walking distance. Stroll to South Melbourne Market, Bay Street shopping precinct, and South Melbourne Primary School, so close to the city and sea by the nearby Montague station light rail."

    August 2019
    14 April 2019

    Since I last passed this way, the house has been demolished.

    The lilly pilly trees on the footpath are laden with fruit.

    April 2019

    28 March 2019

    The property deteriorates. The structure is revealed.

    March 2019 
    2 August 2017

    The City of Port Phillip has granted an extension to a permit originally granted in 2014.

    The application was first lodged in 2011 and originally proposed a four storey building.

    The Council argued the proposal would be an underdevelopment relative to planning guidelines at that time that recommended a five storey street wall and a maximum height of eight levels.

    The application was amended to increase the height to six levels, and a permit was duly issued (by the Minister) in January 2014.

    16 April 2017

    Looks like 161 Buckhurst is not going to be around for much longer.

    Read its planning history below.

    161 Buckhurst St is one of the few  (possibly the only) remaining double fronted house in Montague. It had a significant heritage grading.

    An application to demolish the house and construct a six level building was was lodged with the (then) Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) on 14th March, 2013 not long after the re-zoning of the area in 2012.

    The Port Phillip Council did not support the demolition of the building because it had a significant heritage grading and was not structurally unsound but the decision was not theirs to make.

    The application was approved by then Minister for Planning, Matthew Guy.

    Architects: Paul Delany

    171 - 183 Ferrars St, South Melbourne

    August 2019

    Demolition has begun to enable this new development. Industri, which has sustained the community on hospitality over many years, closed at the end of July and will move to the nearby Wayside Inn.

    August 2018

    171-183 Ferrars St, South Melbourne returned to the Port Phillip Council for consideration. The permit applicants have sought changes under Section 72 of the Planning and Environment Act.

    The changes include reducing the number of apartments, changing the dwelling mix to include more 3 bedroom apartments and deleting the bridge to connect the development to the City Road tram stop. The through block link from Ferrars St to Railway Place is retained.

    September 2016

    Marketing has begun for this 20 level development, Vivid 181. It emphasises the advantages of the location and the convenience of the public transport:
    'A beautifully designed Pedestrian Bridge connects Vivid 181 residents to what will feel like your personal Light Rail Station via a secure weather protected Arcade.'

    It is a project of Michael Emery and John Denton of Denton Corker Marshall.

    2 July 2015

    Planning Minister Richard Wynne has issued a permit MPA14/0004 for a revised scheme for this site.
    The project was reduced from 25 to 20 storeys, minimising overshadowing.
    • 98 apartments, 20 storey tower
    • Mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments
    • Development value: $30 million
    • Developer: One Eight One Pty Ltd
    • Architect: Denton Corker Marshall

    The proposal provides for a walkway through to the City Road tram stop. This was not supported by the City of Port Phillip.

    26 November 2014

    It would be hard to find a person who doesn’t think the renewal of Fishermans Bend and Montague is a good idea.

    Its how its done that is the question. And now it's being done. Applications are being considered according to the Strategic Framework Plan released in July by the Metropolitan Planning Authority. Applications are referred to the City of Port Phillip for comment – not decision.

    Fishermans Bend remains relatively unknown. With only a small residential population, the sense of fierce ownership of place is not as great as in more established suburbs.

    Heritage? Although it was the site of much of Victoria’s post war manufacturing, few traces of that industry remain. The buildings that house Montague’s small industries are not remarkable. Many of them are not that old.

    Creative industries moved from Port and South Melbourne to Montague where the rents were cheaper and began once again to transform the area with creative energy.

    173-181 Ferrars St, South Melbourne

    I went for a wander to get a feel for the place that is the site of the planning application for 173 – 181 Ferrars St.

    It’s very handy for South Melbourne Market. It’s literally on the City Road tram stop. It’s an easy walk or ride to the city or the bay. It’s easy to imagine walking through the site along the proposed link from Thistlethwaite St to access the light rail. Railway Place’s walls exhibit street art of wit and precision. The blue stone lane is full of the gritty urban character that people flock to see in Melbourne.

    The application had been referred to the Office of the Victorian Government Architect for comment. The framework plan’s guidance for this section of Montague is for a preferred height of 18 levels. The application was for 24 levels. In light of the discussion earlier this week about the OVGA, it is interesting to read that the design review panel said:

    ‘Without clear direction on the nature and extent of discretionary height decisions, the additional 5 storeys was supported on the basis that it created a more slender and elegant building.’ and
    ‘The question of how discretionary height limits will be applied needs to be addressed with consistency and an equitable approach’
    The City of Port Phillip assessed the application according to the Framework Plan and expects an application at the preferred maximum height of 18 storeys. What is the justification for the extra height? Is a ‘more slender and elegant’ building a sufficient reason to not observe the preferred maximum height?

    The application is unusual in that all apartments have adequate access to light and none rely on borrowed light. That should not be noteworthy. The environmental plan lacked ‘commitment’.

    The Council examines the nitty gritty detail of the application to anticipate the future life that will be led here. So important to get those details right, as overlooked details can return to haunt.

    High vehicles won’t be able to turn left

    Will those removal vans be able to fit under that 3.8 m bridge? How will the garbage trucks make their way onto City Road?

    Questions remain.

    Will the architects Denton Corker Marshall continue as architects right through the project?

    How will the building relate to the future school proposed on the corner of Ferrars and Douglas St?

    As the Fishermans Bent Network comment, assessing individual applications, even on their merits against the Framework plan, is not a sufficient pre-condition for a liveable precinct.


    City of Port Phillip 173-181 Ferrars Street, South Melbourne 18 November 2014

    534 Williamstown Rd, Port Melbourne

    February 2021

    The renovation is well advanced.

    534 Williamstown Rd, Port Melbourne February 2021

    The builder is Boyd Upstill.

    August 2019

    Is this the only pair of houses of this design in Port Melbourne? The houses are opposite the Port Melbourne Football Ground. 

    The planning application is for an upper level extension to the rear.

    534 Williamstown Rd, Port Melbourne August 2019

    December 2017

    31 July 2019

    60 - 82 Johnson St, South Melbourne

    December 2019

    The cleared site lies fallow while street artists make the most of the brick wall canvas on the boundary.

    December 2019

    July 2019

    The site has been cleared by Delta. 

    July 2019

    April 2019

    Demolition work has begun on site. Not much more than the facade of this brick warehouse remains.

    Brick warehouse - April 2019

    Pile of bricks from demolition of the warehouse - April 2019

    2017 - 2018

    The site has lain fallow. Fennell grows tall.

    Salvo branding flaps on the fence.

    2 February 2017

    Bill McNee sold the site to Mario Salvo for $40 million. (source: Age 2 02 2017)

    4 September 2016

    Marc Pallisco reports that developer Bill McNee is speculated to be selling half of the 9776 sq m 60-82 Johnson St site for about $28m. (Age, 24 09 2016)

    Minister Wynne issued a permit for the site in May 2015.

    According to Pallisco, McNee acquired the site in 2013 for $10.1m from the Kennard family.

    The site has been for sale since September last year.

    23 September 2015

    The site at 60-82 Johnson St is for sale. Bought for $10m in September 2013, it is believed that the asking price will be $60m, according to The Financial Review.

    60 - 82 Johnson St, South Melbourne in 2015

    29 May 2015

    Seeing Red

    When this warehouse thrust itself on my attention, I didn’t realise that it was part of 60-82 Johnson Street – one of three developments approved by Minister Wynne on Friday 22 May. The development includes 1276 apartments built across four towers at from 21 to 46 levels.

    Johnson Street is currently a quiet and handy link in the bike route from Port to Docklands and the world of the north beyond.

    The planning application was first submitted back in 2013 and was assessed according to the Strategic Framework Plan approved by Matthew Guy, planning minister in the Napthine government.

    It is not immediately clear whether the development on the ROTHELOWMAN website is the development that was finally approved.

    Minister Wynne was at pains to emphasise that none of the single bedroom apartments was less than 40 m2 and none relied on borrowed light.

    The planning report notes that Johnson Street is wide enough to support a Copenhagen style bicycle lane – but it is unclear whether that is a condition of the development.

    The application leaves the wider public realm and community infrastructure questions unanswered.


    Urban Melbourne provides all the facts and figures about this development – bike and car parking, apartment numbers, tower heights.

    Urban Melbourne – 60-82 Johnson Street, South Melbourne- Sandridge precinct


    Brick warehouse 29 March 2013