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.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

186 Dow St, Port Melbourne

February 2021

A proposal has been received to construct a single dwelling on the allotment.

10 September 2016

This rare vacant site was sold by Frank Gordon for $2,055,000. It has a 10.06 m frontage and is 30.18m deep.

The site was offered for the first time in 112 years.

The 'scarcity of land unencumbered by a heritage overlay' was noted as an attraction to purchasers.

September 2016

The site has lain empty since 1997 - nearly twenty years. It was formerly the home of Jack and Phyllis Nicholls. 

Phillicia Batty was born in Dow St to Emily and Roy Batty in 1924. She was a pupil at St Joseph's School on the corner of Rouse and Bay St and later became a teacher there, probably until she married John Nicholls in 1948. It was the custom at the school for parents to volunteer assistance, and fathers would always serve as the sport coaches. In 1958 when a coach quit and no other stepped up to take on the footy team 'Phil' Nicholls volunteered.  She was an effective coach who was respected by the players.  (source: Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society 2021 calendar)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

187-201 Williamstown Rd, Port Melbourne

Port Lane

February 2021

Port Lane, February 2021

The marketing for Port Lane explicitly retains the graffiti.

Port Lane, Todd Rd frontage February 2021

Marketing for Port Lane - 'a coastal community with urban flair'.

Port Lane at 201 Williamstown Rd 

December 2020

Marketing for the Port Lane townhouses approved in 2017. The architects for the development are Rothelowman.

ID_Land, Todd Rd, December 2020

1 November 2017

At the meeting of 1 November, the Port Phillip Council approved this development application subject to a range of conditions.

The proposal is to construct 122 three level townhouse dwellings, 15 of which would incorporate the saw tooth factory wall along the Todd Street boundary. All other buildings will be demolished.

The land is in the Wirraway Precinct of Fishermans Bend which has an interim mandatory 4-storey maximum height area (until 31 March 2018). The development clearly complies with this requirement.

The existing saw tooth factory façade along Todd Road is part of the noise attenuation strategy for the development.

the real thing with graffiti - November 2017

render showing retained saw tooth roof wall via Rothelowman

Trees along the Williamstown Road frontage including the Wallangarra White Gum at the corner of Todd Road are to be retained, and existing trees along the north, east and west rear and side boundaries are to be protected.

21 different townhouse designs are proposed. Fifteen of the dwellings facing Todd Road would incorporate the retained redbrick sawtooth factory wall into their rear elevation.

Both VICT and Port of Melbourne Operations Ltd objected to the proposal on the basis that it could compromise the future workings of the Port.

The Council's response was to require that the development incorporate stringent noise attenuation measures and to include the following conditions:

All dwellings will be required to contain covenants to be registered on the Title of the property so as to run with the land, and must provide for the following:
  1. Confirm that the land is located adjacent to an active, 24 hour per day working port located at the Port of Melbourne;
  2. Acknowledge the adjacent Port is projected to expand and increase its operations from circa 1 million standard containers in 2017 to circa six million standard containers in 2040, generally in accordance with the Port Development Strategy 2035 Vision, Port of Melbourne Corporation, August 2009.

Port Phillip Council report 1 November 2017 Ref P0307/2017

The site

Neighbours - Port of Melbourne and 187 Williamstown Rd

Saturday, February 27, 2021

146 Dow St, Port Melbourne

27 February 2021

The new dwelling is complete. 

146 Dow St, Port Melbourne February 2021

146 Dow St, from the lane - February 2021

19 February 2020

The front portion of the house was demolished by hand today.

146 Dow St, 19 February 2020

18 February 2020

Demolition of the rear of the house is underway. It looks as thought the front is being retained though it is in very poor condition, has been much altered and retains some quaint features.

However, the planning permit says "Demolition of the dwelling and partial demolition of the garage, alterations and additions including the construction of a two storey dwelling and alterations to the existing garage at the rear of the site. (Permit 308/2018/A)

February 2020
October 2016

The house sold for $2,385,000 on 15 October.

'The generosity of land together with the lifestyle location create an unrivalled opportunity', according to the agents.

The house last sold for $38k by private treaty in 1976. (source Domain)

385 Princes St, Port Melbourne

 February 2021

385 Princes St is for sale by Biggin & Scott.

385 Princes St, February 2021

Sunday, February 21, 2021

59 Johnston St, Port Melbourne

March 2021

The site has been cleared.

59 Johnston St, Port Melbourne - the site is cleared.

February 2021

Demolition of the building is underway.

Demolition of 59 Johnston St, February 2021

January 2021

On 9 November 2020 an application was made to the City of Port Phillip to amend the existing permit which allows construction of fifteen dwellings in a six level residential building. 

The amendment seeks to change the use to an office with a cafe below. The building would be the same height but one less level (5 rather than 6). The proposal seeks a reduction in car parking from that which was required for the residential dwellings.

The blue planning notice denotes that this application is for an amendment to a previously granted permit, rather than a new application.

59 Johnston St, Port Melbourne

November 2019

The 298 sqm site was sold on 1 November by CBRE by private treaty, price unknown. It has planning approval for a six level building designed by CHT architects.

59 Johnston St November 2019

The site was sold for $3,210,000.

14 December 2011

Planning application 0580/2011 was approved for the construction of 15 dwellings and a six level building. 

Car parking was required as follows:
  • Not less than 1 space for the 12 x 2 BR dwellings; and 
  • The remaining car space allocated to one (1) of the 3 x 1 BR dwellings. 


The property was sold in 1986 for $420,000.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

850 - 868 Lorimer St

February 2021

This application returned to the City of Melbourne, five years since the previous application,  with plans for a two-stage development including an 11-storey office building followed by two 24-storey residential towers housing 336 dwellings including 170 x one bedroom, 92 x two bedroom and 74 x three bedroom dwellings. 

The buildings are designed by Hayball.

Some features of the proposal: 
  • A new 6.6 m road way will be created to connect Lorimer to Ingles St.
  • A temporary park will be created on the site of Stage 2, the residential buildings, while Stage 1 is being built
  • 6% affordable housing will be provided in Stage 2 (details to be provided and approved by the Responsible Authority)
  • Signals will be required at Ingles and Lorimer
Source: City of Melbourne - Future Melbourne Committee 16 February 2021

April 2020

Ingles St x Lorimer St

6 February, 2016

The Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, is the responsible authority for this site. The site is in the Lorimer Precinct of Fishermans Bend and falls within the City of Melbourne. The City of Melbourne's comments are invited to inform the Minister's decision.

This drastically brief summary of points of interest is taken from the report to the City of Melbourne's Future Melbourne Committee of 2 February 2016.

Project summary
  • The site has a total area of approximately 1.01 ha with a 157.49m frontage to Lorimer Street and 184.09m frontage to Ingles Street.
  • Three towers measuring 28 storeys (96.75m approx.), 42 storeys (138.75m approx.) and 44 storeys (144.75m approx.) 
  • Total 936 car parking spaces proposed on the basement and podium levels  
  • Total 631 bicycle spaces 
  • 1134 apartments: One bedroom dwellings/apartments: 459, two bedroom dwellings/apartments: 616, three or more bedroom dwellings/apartments: 59
The report recommended that
  • to enable larger canopy trees to grow on Lorimer St, power lines should be undergrounded
  • trees on Ingles St be retained and protected and that further trees be planted
  • the Ingles St frontage should be improved to include more active uses, rather than blank walls 
  • each tower be designed with a distinct architecture 
The report found that
  • visitor bicycle parking was under-provided
  • car parking rates could not rest on an assumption of the future provision of public transport
  • bike parking needed to be reviewed for ease of access to future users
The report and recommended conditions to address some of the concerns raised above will now be considered by the Minister.

The proposal failed to excite Cr Leppert who described it as 'dull', 'monotonous and bland'.

The site is owned by Goodman.

Source: City of Melbourne - Future Melbourne Committee 2 February 2016

Friday, February 19, 2021

6 Graham St, Albert Park


Laureate, view from Pickles St towards the Bay 02 2021

Laureate is 46 townhouses by Mirvac completed in July 2011. The garden is designed by Eckersley Garden Architecture. The development covers the site bounded by Graham, Pickles, Danks and Foote St.

Mirvac paid $18.35 million for the Albert Park development site in June 2007, after a failed attempt by the previous owner Primelife to develop a luxury retirement village.

Decontamination and remediation of the site was undertaken by the Urban Land Authority in 1995 and 1996.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

293 The Boulevard, Port Melbourne

February 2021

'All Gone' announces the bulldozer.

Planning history

In December 2018, the City of Port Phillip refused an application for the demolition of the existing dwelling to construct a new double storey dwelling on heritage grounds. The decision was appealed to VCAT.

The VCAT member argued that the dwelling had been so significantly modified it had lost its heritage significance.

In 1998 a lightweight structure had been added upstairs and some renovations made downstairs. The architect was Lucinda McLean at NMBW architects. See Garden City House.

Sales history
April 2004: $860k
February 1998: $167.5k by private treaty
July 1989:  $205K

Monday, February 15, 2021

7 - 23 Spencer St, Melbourne

September 2020

Mirvac submitted a revised proposal for this site to the Future Melbourne Committee for a 20 level office tower and a build to rent offering of 472 apartments over 32 levels. The hotel component has been removed.

The proposal does not result in any additional overshadowing of the Yarra River beyond that approved in the earlier proposal.

The development retains the 20 affordable housing units. 

The City of Melbourne supported the proposal with updated conditions.

(Ref: City of Melbourne Future Melbourne Committee September 2020)

May 2020

Mirvac purchased the site on 24 December 2019 for $200m from a Chinese backed joint venture between China Century Group and Exhibition and Travel Group. (source: Simon Johanson, The Age 16 May 2020)

Architects: Fender Katsalidis

September 2018

7-23 Spencer St is the address of part of the former Melbourne Convention Centre, demolished over several months in 2016. There was no fight to save the building, no petitions taken up. Yet every architect and building style has its adherents, and Urban Light captured some of the textures of a building many of us have passed by. The architect, John Andrews, was ‘arguably the most internationally significant Australian architect of the past half-century’.2
shrouded during demolition in 2015

Massive projects like these have long histories. The market changes. Owners change, architects change, and sometimes planning schemes change to reflect community values that have come to the fore.

The site, formerly owned by Riverlee, is now owned by the Century Group. Architects Elenberg Fraser designed the first scheme, and the new scheme is by Fender Katsalidis, also the architects for North Bank Goods Shed (now Seafarers), just a bit further downriver.

A planning permit for the site had already been granted by the Planning Minister in 2016 but an amendment to it was sought. The amendment changes the mix of the development, reducing the number of apartments from 1,060 to 621 and including a Regis Hotel. The scheme also included 20 affordable housing units, negotiated by passionate housing advocate Robert Pradolin who argued at the Council meeting that ‘lack of affordable housing is a long term cost to our economy and society’.

The amended scheme increased the amount of overshadowing of the Yarra River on 22nd June, the winter solstice.

All Councillors were effusive in their praise for the design and the contribution it would make to this dead end of the city.

But Deputy Mayor Arron Wood was not persuaded that this should be an either or situation. He said “it’s a little bit galling to say it’s a choice between overshadowing and affordable housing. We’re better than this. We can do the affordable housing and comply.” He argued that it broke the rules, set a precedent and that open spaces become even more important as the city continues to densify.

After a most civil and respectful debate, the Council voted to advise the Minister that, while it supported the development, it did not support the overshadowing of the Yarra.

The Minister issued a permit. He argued that “though the proposed amended building height will slightly increase overshadowing to the Yarra River, the impact is considered to be limited and offset by the public benefits of new affordable housing and public space.”

The marketing for Flinders Bank claims the River, even though it is not actually on the riverfront.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

128 Montague St, South Melbourne

 February 2021


For sale: 'renovate, detonate or redevelop' - the fate of a house on busy Montague St. 

The property 'lends itself to a total refurbishment & extension, or redevelopment courtesy of the eight (8) level height limit (stca)'. (source Dixon Kestles)

128 Montague St, February 2021

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

134 - 142 Ferrars St, South Melbourne

Montague Square 

February 2021

Completion is expected in October 2021.

South Melbourne Primary School & Montague Square from Kirrip Park

April 2020

The development is now known as Montague Square.

18 storey Build to Rent development
107 Apartments: 15,867m2 GFA 

"The building’s podium emphasizes a solidity in response to the robust older industrial architectural forms found in the South Melbourne area."

Architect: Rothelowman

Builder: Element Five

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

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, April 2013

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)

Sunday, February 7, 2021

291 Esplanade East, Port Melbourne

 February 2021

291 Esplanade East, February 2021

The property at 291 Esplanade East was sold prior to auction by Greg Hocking on 29 January 2021 for an undisclosed sum.

In 1977, it was sold for $38,000. (source realestate.com.au)

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

199-201 Normanby Rd, Southbank

January 2021

The Normanby (199 - 201 Normanby Rd) to the left, Oakwood to the right.

view towards Port Melbourne down Normanby Rd 

May 2020


The development is under construction. It is immediately opposite Oakwood, at 202 - 204 Normanby Rd, also under construction.

The planning permit for this site was granted in September 2014.

Gravity Tower on Montague St to the right.

The site is separated from the Southbank Tram Depot by Woodgate St.

July 2019

Capital Alliance has appointed Crema Group as the builder on its $200 million mixed-use project, Normanby.

The 40-storey tower will include a 200-room hotel by Marriott, as well as 100 one, two and three bedroom apartments.

Construction will begin this month and is expected to be completed by early 2021.

July 2018

The permit for this site has been amended to include an AC Marriott Hotel. It will also include a reduced number of apartments - 111. (source: AFR, July 9 2018)

June 2018

199-201 Normanby Rd, formerly a scrap metal merchant, is becoming Normanby. Marketing has begun for Normanby Melbourne.

Note the Gravity Tower to the rear and right of the photograph and 'cash for scrap' indicating the site's former use as a scrap metal recycling facility.

June 2018

November 2017

Capital Alliance purchased the site from the scrap metal dealer for $13.5m in November 2017, $11 psm.

Permit 2013/009628 was issued by Planning Minister Matthew Guy on 1 September 2014.

Height     121m
Levels      40 levels
Architect DKO Architecture

November 2015

On the move again. The scrap metal merchant's premises are for sale.

November 2015

September 2014

Planning permit was issued by Planning Minister Matthew Guy on 1 September 2014.

253- 257 Normanby Rd, Fishermans Bend

formerly known as the Oxford University Press site, now marketed as R. Iconic

January 2021

Noting the status of this development at the start of 2021. The Oakwood development at 202 - 204 Normanby Rd (left) and the Normanby at 199 - 201 Normanby Rd (right) are clearly visible. The former Dunlop factory is in the foreground.

R Iconic viewed from Boundary St

September 2020

Work is underway on site.

R Iconic viewed from Boundary St

May 2020

R Iconic is 'coming soon'. Refer to R Corporation's website to see what the development will look like. 

May 2020 

March 2020

Work has resumed on site.

Exemplary tree protection on both Normanby Rd and Boundary St.

August 2019

The site is being cleared by Delta.

August 2019

December 2017

Development permit No. PA170223 was approved by the Minister for Planning - dated 5 December 2017.

VCAT Ref P1604/2017.

September 2017

The Oxford University Press site 

R Corporation's proposal for this site includes constructing two towers of 33 and 42 storeys including a five level podium containing ground floor level retail and townhouse dwellings, and apartments and a 147 room residential hotel above.

The Minister for Planning is the decision maker for this site, but the Council's advice is sought.

The Council resolved to advise the Minister that they did not support the application because, amongst other things

  • Tower 1 would overshadow Tower 2
  • The communal open space would be overshadowed
  • The buildings would overshadow nearby Fennell Reserve between 11.00am and 2pm on September 22 
  • Visual bulk
  • Poor thermal performance 
The proposal is headed to VCAT since a decision was not made within the required time frame. There will be a Directions Hearing on 05 or 22 October (tbc) and a hearing commencing 28 November 2017 for four days. 

To get a sense of the Council's concerns, view the renderings

The full Council report 19 September 2017

8 June 2016

R Corporation bought the Oxford University Press site for more than $30 million.

The site

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

8 Turville Place, Port Melbourne

January 2021

The development features a custom curved Gridforge steel and curved brick façade.

Showing the curved brick facade of 8 Turville Place

Architects: KUD Urban Design

June 2019

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

8 Turville Place - the site is cleared 

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
Sales history

April 2017: $1,790,000
2001: $471,000
1988: $175,000
1983: $82,500

source: realestate.com.au