The Piedimonte family has been granted permission to replace its Fitzroy North supermarket and eight neighbouring sites with a mixed-use complex containing two relatively short apartment buildings – of five and seven storeys.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal approval comes four years since the operator made its first application.
At the time, the owner was aiming to build 89 dwellings – later reduced to 66, but still refused by the City of Yarra, coincidentally, a year ago today.
The Piedimonte sites form the top edge of the North Fitzroy Neighbourhood Village Activity Centre zone, which also covers commercial buildings on St Georges Road, south of Scotchmer Street to Edinburgh Gardens.
The City of Yarra has seven neighbourhood activity centres.
Proposal will reduce, not exacerbate, traffic impacts: VCAT
The Piedimonte’s L-shaped block includes 27-45 Best St, 102-114 Scotchmer St and a laneway – all up 3715 square metres.
The permit allows for the demolition of the 1960s supermarket and partial razing of other structures, but not the c1926 former J Fisher & Co motor engineers workshop (31 Best St)
In the judgment, handed down earlier this month, VCAT ordered the removal of one apartment in the tallest tower, Building A, earmarked for the south west corner of Best and Scotchmer streets.
The top floor of the smaller tower (Building B) at the south east corner of Scotchmer and Egremont streets must also be cut, removing three dwellings.
The project includes a 216 sqm resident-only rooftop terrace with vegetable garden.
A three storey basement will contain 164 car parks – which VCAT said would reduce, not exacerbate existing traffic impacts/parking bottlenecks (story continues below).
A lower level café will spread 351 sqm – or 454 sqm, incorporating a balcony.
The new supermarket would, like the existing one, be multi-storey – all up containing 4099 sqm, including a bottle shop, back-of-house office, and storage.
Eight of the residences, earmarked near the base of Building B, are designed as three-level townhouses – with incoming owners having the option to utilise them with retail.
VCAT said the new project must be completed within three to five years.
The Piedimonte family also hold a Bell St, Pascoe Vale South, property, with significant development upside.
Win for Fitzroy North locals
Elsewhere in Fitzroy North, a six storey vertical school – the state’s biggest – has been approved for part of the former Gasworks site.
Near to this, Fortis this month won permission to build a 10-floor apartment complex as part of a mixed-use project with a supermarket; this permit also came from VCAT.
Eleven level structures have recently been completed at the top of Queens Parade; in 2019 a consortium comprising Salta and Wolf proposed a 14-storey residential tower adjoining one.
Fitzroy North forms part of a marginal electoral seat between the ALP and Greens.
In 2017 – just before the last state government election – planning minister Richard Wynne applied a 10-level height limit to industrial sites on this street, closer to the city, near Alexandra Parade – forcing Gurner to amend what was until then a 16 floor proposal.