It may forever now be known as The Block Elsternwick site, but long-time readers of Melbourne’s property pages will recognise 46 Regent Street by many other names.
We take a look at the journey the 2989 square metre holding (pictured, left) has taken to get where it is.
As Regent Lodge
For years until about a decade ago, the site accommodated a low rise nursing home, last known as Regent Lodge.
An application in 1991 sought to extend the “institutional home” to provide 36 beds and associated staff and visitor parking.
In 1998, an application was lodged to subdivide the plot in two, but this didn’t proceed. In 2007 another application was reportedly lodged to construct 10 dwellings on the lot.
This also didn’t proceed and it was publicly offered for sale as a development opportunity in 2010.
The controversial Yesodei Hatorah College proposal
Following this campaign, the property sold to the Yesodei Hatorah College, which shortly after applied to replace the site with a three-storey campus controversially capable of accommodating 325 primary and secondary students.
The proposed school planned to be open six days a week from 7am with some classes ending at 9:30pm. It provided for nine parent car parks.
This application drew more than 120 objections and a street protest attended by entertainers, singer, Kate Ceberano and singer-actress-comedian, Gina Riley, who lived in close proximity to the block.
School Caulfield Grammar, which has some 1000 students, is about 600 metres from 46 Regent Street. Three other major schools are also in the precinct as is the Ripponlea train station.
Park Plans in 2013
A petition by Change.org in 2013 to convince the Glen Eira council to buy the site was popular locally, but unsuccessful.
The 2015 on-sale attempt
In 2015, Yesedei Hatorah College offered the site for sale seeking the same circa-$4.75 million price it paid.
The school’s unsuccessful application had become high profile, so apartment and townhouse developers were wary of buying in.
Gary Peer & Associates marketed 46 Regent Street for its potential to be split into “suburban sized” housing lots, but it failed to sell immediately.
In 2016, and continuing this year, the value of development sites in suburban Melbourne has boomed.
Earlier this year it was reported Watercress Productions bought the site for $9.4 million to proceed with a low-density five-lot subdivision.
The TV show producer recently delivered five historic homes to the Elsternwick address, adding to them a double-storey extension and standalone rear garages with upper-storey studios.