Camberwell’s Sofia restaurant earmarked for an eight-storey apartment building

An image of the vacant former State Savings Bank from the Camberwell Historical Society website.

An application is being reviewed to build an apartment tower on two neighbouring Camberwell sites – including the suburb’s famous Sofia restaurant (pictured, top).

If approved by the City of Boroondara, the proposed eight storey building will contain 43 dwellings, a restaurant, café and wine bar.

The complex would require the full demolition the Sofia’s restaurant building at 853-861 Burke Road.

However, the façade of the adjoining red-brick former State Savings Bank building, 851 Burke Road, would be retained.

The majority of the State Savings Bank (pictured, above left) was demolished more than 20 years ago.

Ratio Consultants is representing the properties owner, Raydan Restaurant Enterprises Pty Ltd.

The application comes nine years after the restaurant’s proprietors – Sam, Rocky and Harry Raydan – won approval to build a seven-level, 82-room hotel on the State Savings Banks site.

More than two years ago, the owners sought to replace both addresses – covering 851-861 Burke Road – with a seven-level tower containing 52 apartments.

The properties are opposite the Camberwell train station where between 2004 and 2012, when the project was shelved, developers were seeking to replace airspace with a nine-storey building locals dubbed “Melbourne’s ugliest tower”.

Sofia also trades from Burwood East and Croydon.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of