That proposal – condemned by the Melbourne City Council, and North Melbourne and West Melbourne resident associations – did not proceed and the site has been offered for sale a couple of times, since.
Now the owners have lodged plans with Matthew Guy to build a 33-level skyscraper which at 106-metres, is substantially higher than the precinct’s 40 metre Design and Development Overlay limit.
If approved, the new building would soar behind a restored facade (a pic of which is above advertising its main tenant, Nightingale Electrics). It would add 368 flats, 1139 square metres of office suites and 783 square metres of retail space to the area.
The tower would also, according to documentation prepared by council “cause a large shadow to fall across Spencer Street for most of the day” and “create wind impacts which will exceed walking comfort level criterion on Spencer Street near the intersection with Batman Street”.
The MCC has (again) rejected the application, in documents lodged with Mr Guy. It’s worried an approval could set a high-rise apartment precedent that would be detriment West Melbourne and North Melbourne’s quaint neighbourhood character.