A company associated with Little Projects is awaiting a planning decision from Minister Guy's department for a large residential complex on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. Located within the currently vacant Joseph Road Precinct that is earmarked for intensive redevelopment, Devcorp (Vic) Pty Ltd is the applicant for the subject site, 2 Hopkins Street Footscray. Whilst City of Maribyrnong have voiced their opposition to the scheme and called for improved planning controls for the precinct, ultimate responsibility rests with state planning body DPCD.
Considered the precinct's most important site due to its proximity to Maribyrnong River, Plus Architecture have subsequently incorporated a large tranche of open space slicing through the middle of the site, allowing future residents living deeper within the precinct direct access to the Maribyrnong River's bank and facilities.
The scheme calls for four distinctive buildings of 16, 18, 20 and 25 levels holding a total 774 apartments. Of those 278 will be one bedroom, 496 two bedroom with no 3 bedroom or penthouse apartments available. Above ground podiums will accomodate 759 car parking bays (including 50 visitor parking spaces), 277 bicycle spaces while each apartment also receives at least one storage cage.
Intended building heights range between 50 and 82 meters. The tallest tower would sit to the site's north-west corner while a distinctive angular glass tower would front Hopkins Street and the Maribyrnong River, thereby becoming the most visible of all proposed buildings in the precinct if travelling in a westerly direction via Dynon Road.
1315sqm of commercial space is expected to be split over two buildings, they being the two towers located closest to Hopkins Street. In this way retail street activation is maximised along the future Maribyrnong Street and extended Warde Street junction. Active frontages are also designed into the lower levels of all buildings fronting Maribyrnong River.
Having both Warde Street and Neilson Place extensions traverse the site will have a two-pronged effect. The public realm would be clearly defined with direct Maribyrnong River Trail and park access through the site, furthermore these pedestrian thoroughfares would physically divide the site into three parcels, allowing a staged development if the developer so wishes.
Maribyrnong City Council have voiced their opposition toward 2 Hopkins Street in its submitted form, stating "The proposal raises significant issues with respect to inappropriate built form, limited mix of uses, non-compliance with State and Local Planning Policies and impact on the Maribyrnong River."
Maribyrnong City Council have also included the following issues which led to their opposing this scheme;
Submitted during October 2012, no decision has been given by DPCD planning officials. Further the application is now listed as deferred on the State Planning Permit Register, pointing to the possibility that 2 Hopkins Street may well have found itself in limbo for the immediate future.
All images © Plus Architecture