The future of 239 Brunswick St is in doubt. Former tenant Thomas Gannan furniture moved out in September and went to new premises across the road (where Audiolifestyle used to be) and will reopen in October. Public comment closes on Monday 5 October 2009 on a proposal from the City of Yarra to lease the land at 239 Brunswick St (notice, 20kb PDF) to Yarra Community Housing for 40 years. Yarra Community Housing plans to demolish the existing building and build a 4 storey apartment building on the site to provide affordable rental accommodation, with a shop at the front on the ground level.
A detail of a computer rendered image of the proposed new building at 239 Brunswick St from the proposal document – copyright: used under the fair dealings provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 / c2009
This project was first announced in a City of Yarra press release in 2007. You can view detailed images and plans of the proposal (2.6mb PDF). I was relieved when I first saw the current plans as the original 2007 proposal designs (4.8mb PDF) were ugly and incongruous with the streetscape.
No reasonable person would question the need for more affordable rental housing in the inner city. I am however expecting to hear complaints from residents about the proposed design of the new building. Some people are likely to argue that it is too big. What do you think? If you want to object, you have until COB Monday 5 October 2009.