Little Lon buildings are not protected by a heritage overlay, but the National Trust objected to last February’s high-rise proposal of 120 – 122 Little Lonsdale Street. Architectural historian Rohan Storey said the buildings have remained almost unchanged since they were built.
The terraces, which have car access from Exploration Lane, are being marketed as a residential development site, but won’t be offered with a permit. They are also being billed as a “renovation rescue” – either into a boutique city residence or office.
It’s common practice in the Melbourne CBD, now, for owners to extend historic buildings by more than three levels, in order to make an investment more efficient by capitalising on demand for boutique office space, or apartments.
The vendors of 120 – 122 Little Lonsdale Street, represented by Allard & Shelton, have owned the properties since the mid 1970s. Selling agents Joseph Walton, Patrick Barnes and Peter Lane will auction the terraces next month. Local industry sources expect them to sell for about $2 million.