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Shed 5 re-emerges as residential

27 Feb 2018

Shed 5 re-emerges as residential Image

Riverlee’s revised proposal to develop the heritage-listed Shed 5 area at North Wharf has been endorsed by the City of Melbourne.

Gone is the 14-storey office building which was granted a permit in 2013 and, in its place, is a 17-storey residential and hotel complex.

Urbis consultant Jamie Govenlock told the February 6 Future Melbourne Committee meeting that market forces had precipitated the change.

“The reason is (that) there has been significant change in the precinct, particularly with development to the north with Collins Quarter (sic) and so forth. It’s been difficult to attract tenants to this precinct,” Mr Govenlock said.

“This is more of an entertainment/residential/24-hour-type precinct. We think a development such as this is better suited.”

The proposed residential hotel component has been designed to target the 4 to 4.5 star hotel market with 231 rooms. A further 182 apartments are to be located on levels 8-17. The existing shed structure is to be refurbished and repurposed as a function hall fronting the wharf’s edge.

Mr Govenlock said: “We’ve got a function centre. We’ve got restaurants, we’ve got cafes and we’ve got a through-link through the site which we intend to manage and will be open to the public, although it will be privately owned.”

He said the new proposal had less floor area and a small plot ratio, but was 9.8 metres taller than the 2013 version.

“In context of what’s around the site, I suppose that’s neither here nor there. It’s a very minor increase,” he said.

“There’s a lot more breathing space around the Mission to Seafarers building. We have had discussions with that group. The last one was on the 17th of November and we want to keep going with those discussions.”

But Mission to Seafarers vice-chair Nigel Porteous asked councillors to defer consideration of the matter because the charity had not seen the final plans.

“I simply and respectfully request the council to grant an adjournment of this proposed vote today until we are able to properly look at the plans,” he said.

Councillors rejected his request and went on to recommend that planning minister Richard Wynne approve the application.

Mr Porteous said the mission met the developer in November, but was not afforded an opportunity to see the final plans.

“The end result of that is that the first we knew that this proposal was going to council was on Sunday evening and the first time we had the opportunity to see the completed amendments to the plans was from the council website on Monday,” he said.

“We have to have the finalised plans approved by our board before we can sign off our acceptance of them.”

The council’s land use and development practice leader Jane Birmingham said: “This application is exempt from public consultation and the appeal processes. Nevertheless, I understand that Riverlee, the applicant, has been having dialogue with the Mission to Seafarers organisation and will continue to do so and the opportunity is not lost to put some comments to the minister’s department.”

The developer’s public relations firm furnished a statement attributed to David Lee: “Riverlee keeps in close communication with Mission to Seafarers and shared plans for Northbank in November 2017. Collaboration has been key to the planning process of this project.”

Council planning chair Nick Reece said: “On balance, I think there’s a lot to like about what has been presented to us. In particular, I like the fact that it’s going to activate Siddeley St and Seafarers Rest Park, which the City of Melbourne is very much behind.”

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