Fortis reworks Foundry proposal

The 2020 proposal included a 12-level office fronting Alexandra Parade and shorter buildings on Smith Street.

Fortis has reworked a commercial development affecting Clifton Hill sites until recently earmarked for East West Link.

The new plan, replacing one submitted last February, would see the tallest building rise 10 levels instead of 12.

The redundant office from the corner of Alexandra Parade and Reeves Street.

The lettable office area will also fall, by nearly 30 per cent, to 16,111 square metres.

A ground floor supermarket will be negligibly bigger – at 3300 sqm.

The applicant has requested 325 basement car parks; the 2020 submission called for 352.

Victoria’s tallest vertical school, for Fitzroy High and Collingwood College, is earmarked near the Fortis site.

The Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal has set aside nine days to hear the proposal next month.

Across the road, Development Victoria is replacing the 3.9ha ex-Fitzroy North Gasworks with 1100 apartments, 4300 sqm of retail, a childcare centre, sports fields and the state’s biggest vertical school.

That project will contain 700 basement car parks.

Its tallest towers would also rise 10 storeys.

Foundry at Clifton Hill

Fortis’ Clifton Hill project is branded Foundry.

It affects 6133 sqm covering the old Nif Naf factory at 2-12 Alexandra Parade, 592-622 Smith Street, and 1-7 Reeves St – all up reported to have cost c$35m in parts over a couple of years.

The design would require the closure of two public laneways – one north/south connecting Alexandra Pde to Council St.

It would however create an east/west road joining Smith and Reeves streets.

The 10-level tower would front Alexandra Avenue to the boundary; it contains the supermarket (story continues below).

Fortis is seeking permission for another 10 level building in the City of Yarra.

It is joined to a nine-floor workplace with an activated rooftop.

Both these towers will utilise metal fin sunshades of various sizes on the glass façade – which architect Bates Smart said is a nod to the Gasworks.

A third building at the northern edge of the block will rise four levels, incorporating a historic single storey warehouse with a conspicuous metal screen extension.

The historic Foundry building in Clifton Hill will be restored.

This asset is earmarked for a restaurant and 2054 sqm market hall.

Fortis’ proposal would retain the parcel’s historic foundry (a two storey terrace at 612-614 Smith St presently occupied by Dant Industries).

The developer added that it is in discussions with a supermarket for the ground floor space; there is a Coles branded petrol station across the road while Woolworths recently opened a 670 sqm Metro at the ex-Retravision in the suburb’s Queens Pde.

According to the planning application, about 78,000 cars pass the Alexandra Ave portion of the site daily.

The property is 1.2 kilometres from Clifton Hill station.

Fortis and Melbourne

Three months ago it was reported the Sydney developer paid $19m for a Richmond site behind Union House hotel with plans for a 10 level office, apartment and retail building.

Last year the builder spent $12.45m for an amalgamation of Brighton properties: 10 and 12 Male St and 41A Black St, now earmarked for a luxury residential project.

The group outlaid $6.9m on an office covering 492 sqm at 18-22 Thomson St, South Melbourne, too, with plans for a taller one.

In 2019 Fortis paid $8.55m for another commercial building in that suburb – part-earmarked for its headquarters (with parent Pallas Capital).

The company recently made a non real estate investment as well, picking up advisory Gravitas.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco