Evolving Port

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

Friday, June 21, 2019

8 Turville Place, Port Melbourne

June 2019

The site has been cleared in preparation for three 3 storey dwellings.

Planning history

Planning application 712/2017 was lodged on 18 August 2017, refused by the Council on 26 February 2018, and finally approved on appeal to VCAT on 14 March 2018.

1 April 2017

The property was sold on 1 April 2017 for $1,790,000.

photo: Cayzer
In 1988 it was sold for $175,000.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

60 - 82 Johnson St, South Melbourne

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 last year.

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

Sunday, April 14, 2019

161 Buckhurst St, Montague

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

Boundary St, Port Melbourne

April 2019

This striking, site responsive house on the Port Melbourne side of Boundary St was recently written up in HomeWorldDesign.

It responds well to its brief which was "to design a striking, modern house that made the most of the small site and yet responded to the neighbouring urban fabric and location."

Chan Architecture's response was "to start with materials and forms that were prominent in the Port Melbourne area and combine them in a unique manner. Strong, angular lines were used in conjunction with recycled brickwork that made reference to the warehouse aesthetic and the metal cladding and rectangular forms related to shipping containers."

The recycled bricks are warmed by the autumn sun - April 2019
The recycled bricks continue the brickwork theme down Boundary St.

222 Ingles St, Port Melbourne

30 March 2019

The estate of the late Dr Thomas Beresford is selling Boral's former Port Melbourne premises at 222 Ingles St, Port Melbourne.

The Boundary St frontage of 222 Ingles St - April 2019

The property had been used as a plasterboard factory since the 1940s and Boral had leased it since the 1960s. Several buildings were demolished in 2011-12 and there is one shed remaining in the middle of the site.

The site has been neatened up - a little - the grass slashed and the graffiti/street art removed. This piece had been on the Boundary St facing wall since 2014.

art in place on Boundary St facing wall from 2014 to 2019

Site 4956 sq m

Agent Lemon Baxter

(Source: Age Commercial Real Estate 30 March 2019 p25)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

81 Bridge St, Port Melbourne

April 2019

Six three level dwellings are for sale by Cayzer - each with an indicative sale price of  $2,100,000.

April 2019

March 2018

The site is secured. 

March 2018
September 2017

The planning application was refused by the City of Port Phillip and appealed to VCAT.

June 2017

Planning application 164/2017 is being advertised for six three storey townhouses with rooftop terraces.

November 2016

The site is still for sale.

July 2016

The property is for sale again by Greg Hocking, Holdsworth. Now just a development site: 'the site, the sounds, the scope'. The property 'damaged and dilapidated.'

September 2015

81 Bridge St sold for $3,700.000. Agents Hocking Stuart described the property as offering 'an increasingly rare "blank canvas" opportunity to renovate/build a district showpiece (STCA), or explore the enormous multi-townhouse development potential (STCA).'

From spectacular to dilapidated

Following a fire in 2014, this unusual house has collapsed into a sorry crumble of bricks and roof.
This corner block has become pure potential. The lush green billboard promises a good yield.

June 2015
Shortly after the fire in November 2014

24 11 2014
Here is the house looking proud on a beautiful day in March 2009.

Addressing the corner
Image David Thompson 
David Thompson explains how this unusual house - for Port - came to be built.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

134 - 142 Ferrars St, South Melbourne

March 2019

The buildings on site at 134 - 142 Ferrars St have been demolished. Only the sub-station remains.

The site from neighbouring South Melbourne Primary School

April 2017

After four years, a permit* has been granted for this site. Down from the originally proposed 49 storeys, the building is now approved at 18 storeys and includes 17 three bedroom homes and 6 affordable housing units to be managed by a housing association.

US technology company Sunguard Availability Services is the developer, Rothelowman the architects.

This site is immediately opposite the new South Melbourne Primary School – Ferrars St.

*permit 2013/000088 was granted on 10 April 2017

28 April 2013

Not unexpectedly, the Port Phillip Council did not support the proposal for a 49 storey development at 134 – 142 Ferrars St, and has asked the Minister for Planning to refuse the application.

134 - 142 Ferrars St in April 2013
Not unexpected because the proposal failed the Council’s assessment on a range of tests. Most importantly that it greatly exceeded the height and scale preferred in the Council’s adopted Montague Structure Plan.

The environmental performance of the proposal was not considered adequate. The proposal was assessed against the Montague Structure Plan in the absence of a plan for the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area (FBURA). There is also no development contribution plan in place.

The planning report recommended that no permit should be granted until such a plan is in place and added that ‘this is preferable than piecemeal agreements between the Minster for Planning and developers, which may result in ad-hoc, uncoordinated and inconsistent works within the FBURA'.

July 2012

The 1,970 m2 site was sold for $3,036,000

In February 2000, the site was sold for $2,250,000, and in November 1983 for $952,000. (source: realestate.com)

37 - 47 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne

17 March 2019

The possibilities.

for sale: 37-47 Thistlethwaite St


According to Colliers, a local developer has purchased the site for $7,525,000 on behalf of a private owner-occupier following strong interest from multiple bidders. 

The site sold without a permit but with an architect-designed concept plan for an eight-level development of 84 apartments.

22 June 2016

Con Gallin music retailer and vintage guitar collector is selling this site. The site houses a two-level warehouse and office, which act as the support office for music instrument retailer Allans Billy Hyde. Mr Gallin bought the chain from receivers in 2012.

He sold his collection of famous guitars – including those used by the likes of Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page – for $1.5 million in 2014. (source Financial Review 10 08 2016)

Colliers is handling the sale by EOI closing 22 July at 3pm. 

The Thistlethwaite Street site last sold for $3.6 million in mid-2007.

  • 1,237m2
  • architect's concept for 84 apartments
  • 3 street frontages

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

78 Princes St, Port Melbourne

February 2019

Came across this 1995 photograph of 78 Princes St at the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society.

The photograph was taken for a dilapidation report undertaken by Mirvac in preparation for the construction of Beacon Cove.

78 Princes St 1995

Saturday, March 2, 2019

108 Dow St, Port Melbourne

Late flowering 

The home of Kelvin Edwin McIntosh who was born and died in this house. (29 05 1942 to 22 02 2018)

This cactus, bursting out of its pot, flowered magnificently in February.

February 2019

Kelvin liked to sit on the verandah of the house and watch the world go by - and offer his thoughts on the world too.


PORTogether Meet one of Port Melbourne's Kids - Kelvin McIntosh

86 Princes St, Port Melbourne

February 2019

The site is cleared.

The site at 86 Princes St is cleared 

January 2019

On my morning walk, saw 86 Princes St being deconstructed. Over the past year, it has been gradually disappearing behind vines, signalling that demolition was nigh.

morning of 15 January 2019
A permit was issued on the 22 January 2018 for the demolition of the house and the construction of a three storey dwelling with a two storey garage/studio to the rear of the site. (Application No 552/2017)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Army and Navy Hotel, Port Melbourne

December 2018

A private auction was held on 1 December. The property sold on 27 December 2018.

4 May 2013

After lying neglected and ignored for almost twenty years, the heritage listed Army and Navy Hotel has metamorphosed into some very sophisticated townhouses, now for sale. This photograph precedes the change.

Dow St was a centre of activity for the Naval Brigades that preceded formation of the Australian Navy. The great apprehension of a Russian invasion galvanised the Brigades.

Here is just a snippet to convey the presence of Navy in Dow St:

'The Sandridge Corps of the Naval Brigade paraded on Friday at the drill room in Dow Street for official inspection. A hundred members were present … and the men went to quarters. The guns were all cast loose and run out, guns on both sides manned; broadside and independent firing was practised. The Officer in Command was Capt Steele assisted by Capt Johnson and Lieuts Swallow and Smith.'

A letter to The Age (14 01 1933) recalls some of the early settlers, including

'Captain Harry Hall (who) signalled his retirement from the sea by conducting the dual businesses of a sand contractor and a publican. He kept the Army and Navy Hotel in Dow-street, opposite the old drill hall.'


Visit the Victorian Heritage Database for a photograph that captures the presence of the Army and Navy Hotel.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

73 Heath St, Port Melbourne

February 2019

The house at 73 Heath St has been demolished. Gone for now - but not for long as it will be re-constructed.

It was found that the hipped-roof front section was in such poor structural condition it could not be brought up to modern standards to meet building regulations and energy requirements.  Port Phillip Council building surveyors supported the demolition.

The cottage, with its slate roof and chimney will be reinstated, along with its double-hung windows. A more street sympathetic fence will enable a two way interaction between the house and the street.

73 Heath St, Port Melbourne 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

51-59 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne

March 2019

The site has been cleared, and construction of Lilix has commenced.

looking towards Thistlethwaite St from the City Road end

Lilix 'will become part of the fabric of South Melbourne, perfectly positioned in the emerging Montague precinct where the area's eclectic industrial past is giving way to new parks, schools and contemporary living'. (source: Lilix)

Lilix is a project of Spec Property.

from commencing soon to building commenced - March 2019

August 2018

The site at 51-59 Thistlethwaite St has been cleared in readiness for construction.

  • Floor count: 8
  • Dwellings: 148
  • Developer: SPEC property

formerly Tyres Plus, also fronting City Road



permite approved site for sale 2016

9 December 2015

51-59 Thistlethwaite St and 486 City Rd, South Melbourne

This application, first lodged with Council on 19 January 2015 was to
  • construct a mixed use, 4, 7, 13 and 16 level building containing retail and commercial tenancies,
  • 258 (126 x 1BR, 109 x 2BR inc. 6 SoHo, and 23 x 3BR) dwellings, community spaces including a toy library, and car and bicycle parking, 
City of Port Phillip planning report 9 December 2015


The site was sold for $572,000. (source Domain)