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.

Monday, September 6, 2021

525 Graham St, Port Melbourne

 10 July 2021

The Port Melbourne base of Frank Walker's National Tiles is for sale, and is expected to fetch more than $30 million.

The 1.4 ha site has been in the hands of one family for 34 years. (source: The Age, Commercial Real Estate)

The agent, Savills, describes it as a 'precinct defining site' with significant development potential. It is in the Wirraway precinct of the Fishermans Bend renewal area.

It is immediately west of the Fishermans Bend Woolworths which opened in July. 

The site for sale in Graham St, Port Melbourne

looking north, 525 Graham St

Monday, August 30, 2021

226 Bay St, Port Melbourne

March 2020

Many people gathered on 4 May to follow the sale of this significant property on the corner of Bay & Liardet Sts. The property was sold for $3,705,000.

Gathering for the auction of 226 Bay St, Port Melbourne

Historical note:

On 21 November 1885, a contract was let for 2,200 pounds for the erection of offices and other buildings for the Second Port Melbourne Building Society. The successful tenderer for the work was Mr Dubbledan, a local contractor. 

Read more about the Dubbledan family in this very interesting article from the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society.

F.T. Derham, MLA, was the President of the Second Port Melbourne Building Society at their Annual General Meeting on 13 November 1888.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

134 - 142 Ferrars St, South Melbourne

Montague Square 

April 2021

Easter Sunday 2021, the view from Kirrip Park

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

On 10 April 2017 the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal* directed a permit issue to allow construction of a building of no more than 18 levels. The development was approved to include 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'.

Mark Baljak writes about the 49 level proposal at Urban Melbourne, Leading the way 134 - 142 Ferrars St.

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)

Ferrars & York, South Melbourne

August 2021

Ferrars & York is a development of 22 carbon neutral apartments designed by Six Degrees Architects, enabled by HIP V HYPE. It is located on the western side of the 96 light rail corridor between City Rd and York St. 

The builders are Ironside

Ferrars & York, August 2021

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

409 Graham St, Port Melbourne

August 2021

A planning permit is sought to re-develop this property. Since there is no heritage overlay, no permit is required to demolish it.  

409 Graham St, August 2021

The house was sold on 12 December 2015 for $1,290,000.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

237 York St, South Melbourne

 April 2021

This modest house on the corner of York and Morris St is being renovated by Plico Design Studio which has a commitment to the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings. 

237 York St, South Melbourne April 2021

A glimpse of the rear of 237 York St, South Melbourne

453-457 Graham St, Port Melbourne

July 2021

Construction is well advanced on the project. With the new Port Melbourne Secondary School set to open in early 2022, Port Melbourne Primary School about 100m away, and the opening of Woolworths, Fishermans Bend, this is an extremely well located site. 

11 March 2018

Construction has begun on the apartments approved in late 2015.

March 2018

10 December 2016

'12 architect designed town homes' are for sale 'nestled in historic Port Melbourne and on the doorstep of the exciting new Fishermas Bend precincts.'

Graham is 'steeped in history, focussed on the future'.

Architects: Caisson

21 April 2015
The application for 453-457 Graham St was considered by the City of Port Phillip at the Statutory Planning Meeting on 21 April 2015. (P04502014)

Zoning: Commercial 1
Overlays: None

The Council report said
The site is not located within a Heritage Overlay. Therefore the Heritage Policy does not apply to this site. Neither of the adjoining sites on Graham Street nor any site on the western side of Graham Street between Williamstown Road and Walter Street are within a Heritage Overlay. The adjoining properties to the west at 432 Williamstown Road and 59 Crichton Avenue are however located within Heritage Overlay No.2 and are located within Garden City Estate. Given the separation of these sites by the rear laneway and the mid-block location of the development, the building would not impact on the heritage value of these sites. These buildings would continue to be prominent in their respective streetscapes and would not be overwhelmed by the proposed development. Moreover it is considered that the three storey height would be an acceptable graduation in height from these two storey scale buildings. Click here to read the full report.
While the Council officer supported the application, it was refused by the Council at the planning meeting. At the subsequent appeal to VCAT, a permit was granted on 1 December 2015.

Ross St, Port Melbourne

July 2021

Not long for this life. Creepers climb the front door. 

Ross St, Port Melbourne July 2021

70 - 72 Albert St, Port Melbourne

July 2021

Construction continues during COVID lockdown #5.

70 - 72 Albert St, Port Melbourne July 2021

February 2021

The development is under construction.

under construction, from Ross St, February 2021

June 2019

The site is cleared in preparation for the development.

level site at 70 - 72 Albert St
October 2017

Advertising for the re-development of 70 - 72 Albert St.

The house which this development will replace.

April 2017

VCAT  issued a permit for full demolition of the existing buildings and construction of a three storey building with basement containing nine dwellings.

237 Princes St, Port Melbourne

July 2021

Work has begun on site.

237 Princes St, Port Melbourne July 2021

10 October 2020

All that remains of 237 Princes St - an outside laundry and a shed.

The uneven brick work of the neighbouring property is revealed.

all that remains of 237 Princes St

neighbouring brick wall
29 September 2020

Demolition underway. 

The final days of 237 Princes St, Port Melbourne 

September 2020

237 Princes St clings on but not for much longer it seems. An amendment to the planning permit has been sought to add a lift and a stair to the roof deck. 

October 2017

The property will be sold by Cayzer on 21 October for $1,400,000 with endorsed plans for a three level dwelling.

237 Princes St is for sale, October 2017
2 February 2017

On this day, the City of Port Phillip granted a permit to demolish the house and replace it with a three storey dwelling. The application went back to 2015. (ref 1297/2015)

2 November 2015

Over a period of time 237 Princes St deteriorated to such an extent that it appeared it would just fall into a heap. I thought it was gone.

237 Princes St, 29 August 2011

And then it had a coat of paint and looks set for a new lease of life.

237 Princes St, November 2015
Sales history

October 2017: $1,400,000
April 2014: $835k  
July 1997: $230k
March 1978: 32k

(source: domain.com.au)

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

103 Beach St, Port Melbourne

July 2021

The site has been purchased by Sydney-based developer Ilya Melnikoff for $16.65 million. This will be only their second project in Melbourne - the first being in Albert St, East Melbourne.

The 1400 sq m site was acquired from Melbourne developer V-Leader, which paid $11.2 million for it in 2017.

The development will be re-branded as Pier 103 Waterfront Residences. 

April 2020

The last trading day for the IGA Beacon Cove Foodstore was 3 April 2020.

April 2020
November 2019

VCAT issued  planning permit 673/2015 on 6 February 2017. The permit allowed for the construction of a three storey building containing a supermarket and restaurant at ground level and 14 dwellings above and a reduction of the car parking and loading bay requirements.

An amendment to that permit was sought. It proposed the addition of an extra storey to create a four storey (15.1m high) building, the reduction of the number of dwellings (from 14 to 12), rearrangement of the basement car park, modify car parking (including car parking to the north of the site) and reduce the clearance height of the building above the shared path on the eastern side of the site and internal changes.

The City of Port Phillip supported the amendment and a permit with conditions was issued. (see City of Port Phillip planning report 27 November 2019)

The architects for the amended design are  Wood Marsh Architecture, responsible for nearby MINTAlumuna and Beacon. Wood Marsh has its offices in the ground floor of the Beacon building on Beach St.


The Beacon Cove Foodstore in 2015.

Beacon Cove Foodstore 2015

Thursday, July 8, 2021

120 Ferrars St, South Melbourne

8 July 2021

Detectives from the Port Phillip Crime Investigation Unit have charged a 30 year old man in connection with the fire that destroyed the factory buildings on site on Thursday 6 May. Detectives executed a warrant and seized a number of electronic and explosive items. (source: Southbank News, July 2021)

June 2021 

The site has been cleared.

corner Ferrars x Buckhurst St, South Melbourne 1 June 2021
Before the fire

Tuck's industrial packaging

Buckhurst St, with olive trees

Saturday, July 3, 2021

520 City Rd, South Melbourne

 3 July 2021

The former Nelson Hotel on the corner of City Rd and Montague St is for sale by expression of interest, closing on 5 August at 12 pm. Colliers are handling the sale.

520 City Rd, South Melbourne

View the property on Colliers website.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

58 Station St, Port Melbourne

19 June 2021

The property is deteriorating. It has been secured with a fence.

58 Station St, Port Melbourne 

10 November 2018

The property changed hands again for $860,000.

20 June 2017

The house at 58 Station St was sold by Cayzer for $964,000. It is reported that a jogger going past bought it on a whim and paid $194,000 over the reserve. 

Opposite Port Melbourne's Railway Reserves, minutes from Graham station and just a few more to the beach and Bay St, its advantages are easy to see.

Mrs Timms watches the world go by 1987
Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society collection 


Looking a tad neglected.

26 September 2009

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

156-162 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne

The BelleVue

Revealing its past and future - the corner of Boundary and Thistlethwaite Sts.

4 April 2021

Advertising has begun for the eleven townhouses to be built on this site. 

The development, the first in the observation of Port Houses, emphasises smart technology in all areas of operation of the home.

Architect: Caisson
Chief Architect: Craig Barkla

19 October 2018

H & R Motor Body Repairs have moved to Braybrook after fifty years in this location. The site deteriorates.

26 September 2018

The City of Port Phillip issued a permit, with conditions, for 12 townhouses of 4 levels at the planning meeting on 26 September 2018.

9 November 2015

'First time offered in 50 years.'

Sunday, June 6, 2021

96 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne

 June 2021

The site is for sale by public auction by Colliers on 19 June.

96 Thistlethwaite St, June 2021

Sales history

2016:  $1,250,000

1992:  $250,000 (source: realestate.com)

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

167 Pickles St, Port Melbourne

 June 2021

This unusual house with two street frontages is for sale by Little. The asking price is $2,800,000 to $3,000,000.

A distinctive feature of the house is the stained glass windows.

The Pickles St frontage, June 2021

Sales history

1984: $68,300

1978: $24,000 (source: realestate.com)

Sunday, May 16, 2021

63 Cruikshank St, Port Melbourne

 February 2021

The property was sold on 24 February under executor instructions for $1,930,000 by Frank Gordon. The property was 'advantaged by 10m frontage, 'non-significant' heritage overlay, and north facing rear & ROW access'.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

The First Quarter 2021

Port Melbourne

In December 2020, the median house price was $1,630,500. 

In March 2021, the median house price was $1,900,000, a 16.5% increase. (source: Herald Sun 16 April 2021)

Friday, April 16, 2021

272 - 280 Normanby Rd, South Melbourne

April 2021

Following a thorough examination of the issues by the Fishermans Bend Standing Advisory Committee, the Minister for Planning approved planning amendment C177 to the Port Phillip Planning Scheme which was gazetted on 31 March 2021.

The most significant element of the amendment is reducing the height of the building from a proposed 40 storeys to 24 storeys. 

The incorporated document runs to 21 pages of detailed conditions. A few of them are highlighted below:
  • The tower setbacks increased to a minimum of 10 metres from Johnson Street and Munro Street
  • At least 20% of dwellings to contain three or more bedrooms, with a plan to transition to 25% of all dwellings containing three of more bedrooms. 
  • At least 25% of all car parking spaces on all levels to have access to an EV charging point.
  • Provide for the delivery of at least 6% of the total number of dwellings, for affordable housing before the development is occupied.
The SAC's report and the incorporated document can be accessed from the Fishermans Bend Standing Advisory Committee webpage.

January 2021

The building is being used as a worksite for R. Iconic opposite at 253 - 257 Normanby Rd. A homeless person finds shelter in a doorway. The landscape is unkempt. 

Planning for this site has still to be resolved. 

the site from the corner of Normanby & Johnson St, 2021

In October 2018, the site was sold for $12.7m (source: Domain)

4 October 2017

The City of Port Phillip considered the application on 4 October 2017.
  • The proposal is for a 40 level mixed use tower including a five level podium.
  • A 4.5m wide pedestrian through block lane/link is proposed along the north-east side of the site,  The link would be covered at first floor level for weather protection and wind mitigation.
  • The development proposed five affordable dwellings.
The Council resolved to advise the Minister that it did not support the application, but should the Minister approve it, a suite of suggested conditions have been prepared.

source: City of Port Phillip report of 4 October 2017  Planning application reference nos: DELWP ref: 16/00106, Council ref: MINRA 0004/2016/A

27 June 2016

the site from the corner of Normanby & Johnson St, 2016

8 May 2015

from the corner of Normanby & Johnson St, 2015

In February 2015, the site was sold for $14m by private treaty. (source: Domain)

The site

The site was formerly part of Dunlops extensive operation as shown in the Mahlstedt plan below.

The irregular shaped lot is 2,609 square metres in area.