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.

21 February 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.

20 February 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

19 February 2021

6 Graham St, Albert Park


Laureate, view from Pickles St towards the Bay 02 2021

Laureate is 46 townhouses developed 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.

15 February 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.

14 February 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

07 February 2021

291 Esplanade East, Port Melbourne

December 2022

The auction for this property was on 10 December. It has approved plans for a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom dwelling with a basement, parents retreat and swimming pool.

291 Esplanade West, December 2022

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 $1,650,000. 

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