Melbourne-based developer Gurner has revealed plans for his latest project, a 41-apartment development in Smith Street, Collingwood.
The mid-rise project, designed by architects Warren and Mahoney, will cost the developer $10.1 million.
After community concerns initially derailed Gurner’s Wellington Street Collingwood project (the developer later redesigned the apartments) Gurner has opted to maintain the heritage façade of the 368-374 Smith Street building.
The Smith Street site is bordered by a host of early iconic stores such as Foy & Gibson, Henry Ackman and GJ Coles heritage façades, contributing to Collingwood’s warehouse character.
The site was acquired off-market last year for about $7 million, and will add another $45 million to the developer’s portfolio.
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Warren and Mahoney principal Nick Deans said the vision for the project will acknowledge and respect the history of these four, largely-intact, heritage shopfronts.
“Our design is considerately setback from the edge of Smith Street to create an interplay of tactile historical fabric on the first two levels, paired with a contemporary residential building setback above,” he said.
What was once Melbourne’s Victorian and Edwardian-era commercial shopping strip, a major thoroughfare between Heidelberg and the CBD for the better part of a century, is now a site with heritage overlay status due to its architectural significance.
The ornate architectural detailing, typical of the Edwardian style that was prominent between the 1870s and 1890s, will be restored to house ground level retail.
The project’s further development is planned in coming years once the current lease agreements have lapsed.