Melbourne-based developer Tim Gurner has received approval for his controversial $350 million mixed-use Wellington Street development project, after a lengthy mediation and redesign process.
The developer ditched the original Koichi Takada-design and hired Cox Architecture to come up with a less conspicuous design response that was more in fitting with the industrial Collingwood vernacular.
The original proposal, derided as “bogan” and “vulgar”, was unceremoniously dumped by Gurner, who briefed Cox to completely re-design the project, taking into account the concerns of the community and council.
"In hindsight, we got the first proposal wrong," Gurner said.
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“Once we had received the initial outpouring of concern for the original design, [we] went back to the drawing board and started again.”
The new proposal references both Collingwood’s Foy and Gibson architecture as inspiration, creating nine individual buildings, rising to a maximum 11-storeys, on the 5100-square metre site.
“We have come full circle and we are really proud of the way we have worked collaboratively to ensure the best outcome for the local area,” Gurner said.
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“We want this building to be a legacy for Collingwood and make a positive lasting contribution not only to the surrounding urban landscape but to Collingwood’s inspired retail and hospitality culture, too,” he said.
Delivering a modern interpretation of Collingwood’s old brick warehouses, the scale and design of each form will be treated as a separate building, with each to be designed with varied brickwork and industrial masonry elements.
Gurner acquired the site in late 2016 from the Nossbaum family for $40 million.
Gurner is working with the Nossbaum family on a $1.5 billion mixed-use development at Fishermans Bend, which was one of 26 projects halted by Planning Minister Richard Wynne last week.
The approved Wellington Street project is expected to launch in mid-2018.