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.

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. 




Sunday, April 11, 2021

183 Bridge St, Port Melbourne

 June 2021

The property was sold on 3 June 2021.

April 2021

for sale by Belle Property

May 2015


The former surgery of Dr Jack Goldberg, the Sandridge Medical Centre, was sold by private treaty for $1.638m.


Monday, April 5, 2021

31 Derham St, Port Melbourne

May 2021

The property was auctioned by Chisholm and Gamon for $1,650,000.

The land size is approx 249 sq m.

31 Derham St, Port Melbourne - April 2021


Sunday, April 4, 2021

134 - 142 Ferrars St, South Melbourne

Montague Square 

April 2021

Easter Sunday, 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

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)



Wednesday, March 24, 2021

275 Princes St, Port Melbourne

March 2021

The house was sold by Marshall White on 12 March. In a conversation with the owner builder recently, he said the family was heading out of town.


September 2020

Settled into the streetscape.



November 2018

All moved in and creepers growing up the Farrell St wall.




July 2018



The timber is spotted gum.

October 2017

Part demolition of the rear of 275 Princes St is underway. The front rooms of the house will be retained.


October 2017
Look at those bricks - October 2017

Planning matters

The City of Port Phillip approved application 112/2016 for 'part demolition; alterations and additions including a two-storey addition to rear of the existing dwelling and the construction of a new front fence' on 8 June 2017. 

The decision was appealed to VCAT which approved the application on 26 September 2017.

25 September 2016

Looking sad. Weeds in the clever garden beds on top of the wall admired a year or so ago.
Apparently terminal decline while planning matters are being resolved.


October 2013

The house was sold on 5 October 2013 for $760,000. (source Buxton)

Two disappearing features of houses - the Hills Hoist and the sleepout.

photo credit Buxton


July 2013

275 Princes St, Port Melbourne 2013




243 Graham St, Port Melbourne

6 April 2021


23 March 2021

The house at 243 Graham St has been demolished. After the rain, it smelt damp and old.

Demolition of the house at 243 Graham St, March 2021


11 February 2018

243 Graham St, February 2018

This site will be auctioned on 24 February with an approved permit for a house with
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • a separate rumpus room
  • basement garaging
  • roof terrace
Should this permit be acted on, the fate on the houses on either side will be pretty much pre-determined.

17 July 2017

Planning application 480/2017 is being advertised for the demolition of the dwelling.

2 January 2017

This modest house was sold for $1,101,000 at auction by Cayzer on 10 December 2016.

243 Graham St, January 2017

Historical note

Henry William Birch, Harriet Birch, Aaron Waxman. Bill of sale filed in 1881. Refer PROV
VPRS 8350/ P2 unit 15, item 56956

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Emerald House, Port Melbourne

Emerald House

Emerald House is located on the corner of Station and Raglan Sts, opposite North Port Station, now Stop 127 on the 109 tram service. 

This photograph shows the same corner in 1907.

unattributed from Ormond Butler's facebook page


Monday, March 8, 2021

218 Esplanade West, Port Melbourne

March 2021

The frame is up for the new house.

218 Esplanade West, March 2021
November 2020

Construction has begun.

218 Esplanade West, Port Melbourne 

Architects Tom Eckersley

January 2020

Blank canvas. Blank slate.

January 2020
13 December 2019


and in the evening

in the morning
12 December 2019

The time has come for 218 Esplanade West and the yellow roses.

preparing for demolition December 2019

the streetscape December 2019
2019

An amendment to the 2018 permit was granted on 9 July 2019.

2018

A planning permit was granted on 29 October 2018 for the demolition of the dwelling and construction of a two storey dwelling.

30 May 2017

When these inter-war houses built on the former Sandridge Lagoon change hands, they generally make way for new development.

This house, with two street frontages and adjacent to Edwards Park, is unlikely to survive.

The house was sold for $2,025,000 in May 2017. (source: realestate.com.au)

218 Esplanade West, 2017

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. The landscape architects are Tract. 

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 fa├žade 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