Is this Frankston's time to shine?

So long considered the 'derriere' of Melbourne, Frankston is quietly going about the process of regeneration and reinvigoration as a host of new developments eye off the Bayside locale. Far from the gaze of mainstream CBD developers and media for that matter, Frankston in the eyes of many has yet to shrug the 'Bayside Bogan' tag; and somewhat unfairly many would argue!

Under the guise of the Frankston Activities Area, the renewal of the area's city centre is central to facilitating Changes to land uses, building size and design and public spaces, and inform the location and types of housing, businesses, community facilities, transport and infrastructure that people want to see in Frankston. Although the process of determining a suitable Structure Plan is continuing, a number of projects over all stages are in the pipeline, with the regeneration of the Peninsula Centre a development beachhead.

377 Nepean Highway

Fake palm trees aside, Asian Pacific Group's regeneration of the infamous Peninsula Centre seems to have acted as a catalyst of sorts for further development in Frankston. Derided by many, including Barry Humphries as The worst building in Australia once upon a time, the complex reopened during 2013 as a Quest franchise and is formally known as Peninsula on the Bay. The 10 level structure that was near inexplicably tied to Frankston's negative connotation now lives on as a residential, commercial and retail hub, drawing people into the Frankston CBD.

10-12 Davey Street

Currently at sales, Airio Frankston according to Property Subdivisions was Prepared by Denton Corker Marshall Architects, for a multi storey mixed use development comprising a café and health club at ground level, 89 residential apartments within floors 1 -13 and associated basement car parking. The development adopts a contemporary form with a key design philosophy to incorporate a ‘floating’ element above the ground level podium in response to the existing buildings that are subject to a Heritage Overlay (HO49), whilst the levels above are designed to maximise premium views towards the bay and the central Melbourne city skyline to the north west and views towards the bay and Port Phillip Heads to the south west. At ground level the public realm is activated via the introduction of a café within 10 Davey Street and associated alfresco terrace, whilst a health club is proposed within 12 Davey Street.

73 Wells Street

Fronting Kananook Creek, Probuild has commenced construction on South East Water's new headquarters. Designed by BVN Donovan Hill, the complex will eventually accommodate 700 South East Water employees currently worked across three sites in Heatherton, Lynbrook and Dandenong South. At the time Water Minister Peter Walsh was quoted as saying The consolidation, which had been in planning for 18 months, would also provide a boost to the Frankston economy... Frankston was chosen as the most appropriate site for South East Water's head office because it is the most central location for their business, which services Melbourne's south-east suburbs, Pakenham, Bunyip and the Mornington Peninsula.

16 Clyde Street

An upcoming ten level residential complex of 177 apartments, the development if built will activate Clyde Street between Balmoral Street and Station Street whilst providing additional serviced apartments to Frankston's CBD. Design Consortia Australia describe the project as being Adjacent to the food court entry at Bayside Shopping Centre, this is an island site fronting a paved pedestrian mall. Designed as a serviced apartment development of 125 apartments of 1 and 2-Bedroom apartments in the lower levels, it also comprises 52 upper level 2 and 3-Bedroom apartments which capture the panoramic bayside views offered by the location.

451-455 Nepean Highway

The work of Singaporean architecture firm K2Ld, 451-455 Nepean Highway is the tallest and most interesting of all potential developments for Frankston. The 18 level complex is defined by a bust of Rodin's The Thinker - an interesting, unique activation of podium space and in somewhat of an oddity the original Thinker. When conceived in 1880 in its original size (approx. 70 cm) as the crowning element of The Gates of Hell according to Museum Rodin... and some would say how appropriate for Frankson no doubt. Not yet a planning application, a design of this quality would do wonders for Frankston.

1 Balmoral Street

Not every upcoming Frankston project is of a large scale, with a likely redevelopment of 1 Balmoral Street in the offing. Whether it eventuates or not, a redevelopment demonstrates that equally important to new buildings breathing life into the city centre is the regeneration of existing stock.

444 Nepean Highway

Quoting Doig Architecture, Located on Nepean Highway and overlooking the Kananook Creek and Port Phillip Bay, this site offered an exceptional opportunity to raise the quality of apartments on offer in the city. The design envisaged a mixed use complex providing three tower forms above a four level podium. A new urban courtyard links Nepean Highway to the Kananook Creek precinct and provides an address for Retail, Commercial Office and Apartment entries. The full complement of 300 apartments in 1 and 2 bedroom formats would be delivered in stages, over the podium which offers 4,000sqm of retail and commercial office space. Parking provisions for 350 cars is provided in basements beneath the Nepean Highway level.

Unfortunately no crystal ball exists as to if and when these projects will be delivered but it seems that Frankston won't miss out on the consolidated, higher density and vertical way of living that is now prevalent throughout City of Melbourne and surrounds. In coming days Urban Melbourne will look at a current planning application that will further augment Frankston City into a high-rise enclave.


Bilby's picture

This article is embarrassing to me as a Melburnian. In what possible sense does the the K2Ld building fit with the comment, "...a design of this quality would do wonders for Frankston"? From the images shown of its public presentation, it is an uninspiring, generic apartment building. I'm not going to use the b-word, but really, will it do 'wonders' or just support the existing image of Frankston as an uncultured backwater? Frankston deserves better architecture than this.

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Riccardo's picture

Agree Bilby, but fits the pattern of some of this site's Pollyanna-ish founders. Life is wonderful, only ever say nice things...reality is, you also have to say negative stuff from time to time.

Which brings me to Franga. It cannot be fixed unless the ferals are removed. Otherwise Mornington and Mt Eliza people will keep ignoring it. It will always remain blighted.

I do like the SE Water building.

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Mark Baljak's picture

Gents my opinion is my own...the floor is yours to write an opinion piece outlining how and why Frankston can lift itself.

Some observations regarding your comments

> The K2Ld building for mine has an interesting shape, complementary colour scheme and unique podium/ground level treatment - it's the pick of all the above proposals for mine, and better than average compared to equivalent Melbourne buildings.

> As to weather it will do wonders for Frankston - fair call, but if your advocating some architectural masterpiece over and above an above average apartment building; this is where economic reality kicks in.

> If you seek an amazing slice of design in Frankson, odds would suggest it will need to be delivered via the public purse

> "Cultural backwater" and "It cannot be fixed until the ferals are removed." Do you two agree that a larger, more concentrated population with varying economic and skill bases will do wonders and necessitate further investment in Frankston (specifically the CBD), likely lifting it out of it's supposed cultural mire as viewed by observers from afar?

> Which ties in with my comment - the K2Ld buildings pulls Airio's pants down in terms of design. A swag of K2Ld-type buildings would be far more 'wondrous' for Frankston than Airio - it's a matter of opinion, and no you don't have to agree with mine.

> Pollyanna-ish founders. Well shit! Look close enough and you'll find enough underlying negative commentary. Ours is to be more analytical in presentation and when life isn't 'wonderful' we try to provide considered solutions to issues. Out and out half-cocked, negative commentary is counterproductive in more ways than I care to explain.

The floor is open to anyone to write a critical piece, but being critical for critical's sake is pointless unless you offer meaningful solutions in the process.

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Melbman's picture

Great read that one. Thanks man.

I agree that Frankston actually has great potential, and in a few ways actually is an easier sell than Dandenong is to revitalise. The beach and the peninsula give the area a strong selling point.

Some of these projects have great potential.

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