A planning permit has been sought by a developer to redevelop the former Thread Den premises (originally the Cavan hotel) into a 7 storey apartment building. I don’t understand how an application can be made for such a redevelopment of a heritage listed building on a street with a heritage overlay.

If this is possible, prepare to farewell all but a few tokenistic scraps of the historical facades along Fitzroy’s high streets. The development retains the existing hotel but, although recessed, the 7 storeys tower over it. See the plans on the City of Yarra website.

cavanhotel2013planning 7 storeys on Brunswick St

cavanhotel2013 7 storeys on Brunswick St

7 storeys on Brunswick St

13 thoughts on “7 storeys on Brunswick St

  • 3 June 2013 at 9:26 pm
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    And why not make use of all the potential within the spaces reaching skyward. The Heritage framework is nothing short of a nostalgic indulgence for the conservative middle classes; ill-conceived and impractical in in a ever-changing thriving metropolis where growth is the imperative.

    Seven stories? Is that all? Where is our honorable minister? We need the leadership of great men like Madden and Guy to override restrictive process as they have in the past, to ensure that entrepreneurship of visionary developers is not obfuscated by pesky bureaucracies or local small minded locals tenuously hanging on to the status quo.

    To all of you who oppose it I say – “NIMBYs”. I want another Cheese Grater. Why have a Windsor Hotel when you can have a Windsor Facade? Fuck what remains of the old buildings in Flinders lane. Who cares about what Geoffrey Blainley says about Point Gellibrand’s significance as Victoria’s earliest port when there is land there to put 2000 people in a couple of towers. I say, this is Australia, not Europe. Give me modernisation in its fullest. Give me drab, sad, nondescript, lifeless homogeneity any day.

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    • 3 June 2013 at 9:52 pm
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      I agree with inner urban infill and increasing housing density, but it does not necessarily need to be so big. The difference in scale between existing buildings and proposals like this produces significant problems of shade for neighbouring properties. Nearby homes could be in perpetual shade as a result of this building, resulting in a loss of amenity and lower quality of life.

      The best compromise seems to be for new buildings to be a bit bigger than those nearby, but not massively so. These new development proposals are all about developer greed, not building new homes that fit into the existing built environment without negatively affecting it.

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      • 10 June 2013 at 11:06 am
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        Have a look at the plans you linked to: http://www.yarracity.vic.gov.au/IgnitionSuite/uploads/PlanningApps/PLN130159%20Plans%20Part%204.pdf

        The most important thing to not overshadow – Brunswick St, the public domain – won’t be overshadowed by any extreme stretch of the imagination thanks to the 7.5m setback. The 9am shadow diagrams illustrate this perfectly – the existing facades overshadow the eastern footpath (naturally) but the new levels above will only move the shadow to the edge of the road on the western side of Brunswick St – the western side of Brunswick will be unaffected.

        Overshadowing across the back lane is minimal and will only affect the property to the east at the end of the day. To the south there are no open-air / access areas to be overshadowed.

        And the height mixed with setback is spot on – the building will only be noticeable from Brunswick St’s western footpath, on the eastern footpath passers-by will barely notice it when built.

        Focusing on height of a building based on the number of floors it has is naive: the building height will be roughly the same as 101 Victoria St and Moran & Cato Merchants – residential buildings have smaller floor-to-ceiling heights than commercial buildings and especially smaller than 100 year old commercial buildings .: they can fit more levels than the older and new commercial buildings.

        This is the perfect density increase, height & setback ratio and sustainable outcome for housing people in areas where there is excellent services and public transport – this should be a template for any new development anywhere in the older suburbs of Melbourne – and you’re going to see a lot more of it.

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        • 10 June 2013 at 12:16 pm
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          Relying on shadow diagrams from developers is naive – they are notoriously false and manipulated to minimise unwanted shadowing on nearby residences in order to get approved. The public domain of the shopping strip is not the most important thing. Avoiding putting homes in perpetual shadow where gardens die and people suffer a loss of quality of life is more important.

          I think these new developments that have no resident parking are acceptable, but if they contain a business they must have off-street parking for deliveries and also parking for guests and tradies, who come often to apartment complexes, to minimise their impact on the street.

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  • 3 June 2013 at 10:26 pm
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    I agree. Generally speaking, in the nineties there seemed to be more innovation, more sensitivity to the existing structures and landmarks. Now its increasingly becoming a case of going for the lot, in maximising the dollar potential of a given space at the expense of everything else.

    Notice also that these developers all want waiver of car parking space. It would be nice if everyone in the inner city didn’t have to depend of cars. But from what I have seen the reverse is has been true.

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    • 3 June 2013 at 10:56 pm
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      I think no parking for residents is ok, but the buildings should be required to provide visitor parking and loading bay / maintenance parking for visiting tradies etc. They should reduce the pressure on street parking, not increase it. The waiver of a loading bay for this building, with shop(s) included, is simply wrong.

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  • 4 June 2013 at 7:22 am
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    It’s a shame it had to be this building, as the rest of the block on both sides of Brunswick St has some of the best examples of the “build-it-quick-ugly-and-cheap” school of architecture I’ve ever seen.

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  • 4 June 2013 at 9:13 am
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    But it has a “Grafitti Wall”! … Urban and relevant imo

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    • 4 June 2013 at 4:34 pm
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      And how long would it take for it to be tagged, defaced and generally made to look ugly? A month? Sounds like a lame and desperate attempt to look relevant.

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  • 4 June 2013 at 9:17 pm
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    I loved this bit, just in case those pesky graffiti folk might be lurking…..

    Semi transparent pedestrian access
    point alllows for visual surveillance of
    laneway from within site enhancing
    occupant security.

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    • 4 June 2013 at 9:19 pm
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      This roughly translates as ‘you can watch people injecting in the laneway without them hassling you for change’.

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  • 16 March 2015 at 4:23 am
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    The inevitable problem with these developments apart from the changes that occur down the planning process – is that seven or six or eighth floors, need plant facilities that encroach on the street level. So whilst it may have a decent set back and retain a façade of some description, it will in a cramped block need an elevator, and a common entry point out to the main street. These are large facilities for a modest block width, that generally impinge and alter the nature of a frontage, in a generally hostile fashion. In short, a modest sized retail façade is being restructured to accommodate a much greater volume of traffic and whilst that is all very well for utility of the premises, it more often than not creates a recessed dead zone in the (high) street.

    Reply

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