Schwartz Media proposes eight floor HQ at Collingwood’s British Crown Hotel

The proposed eight level office at 14-18 Smith Street, Collingwood.


Morry Schwartz has paid $5.15 million ex-GST for Collingwood’s vacant British Crown Hotel with plans for a sustainable eight level office to house his publishing businesses.

The timber Denton Corker Marshall proposal for 14-18 Smith Street will be decided by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after an October hearing.

The area’s discretionary height limit is nine storeys.

The 550 square metre holding is adjacent to 207-209 Victoria Parade, a Fitzroy site which Pellicano is seeking to replace with a 13-floor office.

The c1860 British Crown Hotel was once rendered red.

A similar scale building has also been mooted for a consolidation of McDonalds occupied properties in the vicinity.

Opposite British Crown, where Smith St is zoned Fitzroy, Neometro recently completed a seven level residential building at #11.

CBRE this week sold the outgoing Aesop headquarters at #25, on the north west corner of Little Victoria St, for c$7.9m to a local builder.

Colliers International’s Daniel Wolman, Dave Walker, Oliver Hay and Chris Ling traded 14-18 Smith St last August.

The pocket is about a kilometre east of Melbourne’s Parliament train station.

The British Crown office proposal

The 14-18 Smith St office would be occupied by Schwartz Media, publisher of print and digital products.

To be constructed in mass timber or glulam, and enclosed behind an environmental screen, it would contain 2262 sqm of lettable area and a basement which, with stackers, can accommodate 17 cars.

It will also have an electrical vehicle charging point.

British Crown’s ground level will be configured with a retail space, 44 bike parks and end of trip facilities comprising 34 lockers, two showers and change rooms (story continues below).

The second storey will be the largest workplace, at 416 sqm.

The top five floors – where the average lettable area is about 320 sqm – would be inset from the pub, making it less noticeable from the footpath.

Upon completion, a 5-star NABERS rating is anticipated.

“The project aspires to be a climate resistant, carbon neutral development, incorporating…strategies within all aspects of design, construction and operation,” according to part of the application.

Elsewhere in Collingwood

Pellicano’s proposed 13 level Fitzroy office is near the British Crown.

At 36-52 Wellington St, US based Hines is proposing a 15-level sustainable office on 2120 sqm.

Pace Development Group also recently finished a 10-storey one on a compact 394 sqm holding at 51 Langridge St.

Earlier this year, local investor Peter Hart applied for an eight floor commercial complex at 6-10 Peel St.

Architecture firms SLAB and DKO were permitted for a workplace the same height, on a 468 sqm holding at 19 Down St, in May.

AUS Finance Group in March sold an 11-storey office it would construct at 71-93 Gipps St.

Gurner is constructing a residential and hotel complex also of this height at 23-33 Johnston St.

That developer’s Victoria and Vine proposal on a c200 metre long site at 1-57 Wellington St and 71-77 Victoria Pde, will contain nine buildings, the tallest again of 11 levels.

Yesterday we reported Warner Music would relocate its Melbourne headquarters within Collingwood – to 51 Langridge St.

The British Crown Hotel (centre) on Smith Street.
Hines’ proposed 15-level wooden office in Wellington Street, Collingwood.
Peter Hart recently applied to construct an eight level office in Peel Street, Collingwood.
Schwartz Media’s proposed office (site, marked) is about a kilometre east of Parliament train station.

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Marc Pallisco

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