Planning Application > 1 Warde Street, Footscray

A closer look today at one of the ever increasing number of planning applications that eventually intend to call the Joseph Road Precinct of Footscray home. 1 Warde Street was submitted to state government body DPCD last year for approval, although as yet no planning decision has been revealed. Devised by Elenberg Fraser for burgeoning property developers Urban Inc, and with the working name Romeo and Juliet, 1 Warde Street is already visible on Urban Inc's website and forms part of the developers intended future development stock.

Located well back within the Joseph Street Precinct, 1 Warde Street's 2181sqm site would be hemmed in by the already approved 10 Moreland Street development to the east, and the Footscray rail reserve to the west. Stage One is the smaller, 19 level tower whilst the taller Stage Two would match its intended neighbour at 26 levels, thereby not exceeding a height transition line as seen below.

As per the submission, 1 Warde Street would contain 311 apartments over two towers which when completed would appear as one solid structure. 263 car parking spaces would be available over five levels, as would be 211 bicycle bays. Overall height of the buildings would round out at 63m and 84m respectively, with Stage 1 including 140 apartments whilst the taller Stage 2 allows for 171 residential dwellings. All apartments will be a choice of one and two bedroom options.

Both rooftops would include useable areas for residents with stage 1 incorporating communal indoor and outdoor lounges, sundecks, landscaping, kitchen and a barbeque area. Stage 2 holds an altogether similar layout with the exception being a gym incorporated into the facility, offering excellent views.

Double level SOHO commercial spaces will be available at ground fronting either Warde Street or Neilson Place, as will apartments, a dedicated restaurant space and an 84sqm cafe. These retail spaces will front an intended public park directly west of the proposed development.

Heavily resembling Elenberg Fraser's previous project Clara, 1 Warde Street's podium is designed to mimic an "Eroded, porous, inhabited base. It provides a continuous streetscape and an urban scale to Warde Street." Conversely the tower element has incorporated a number of vertical elements, with Elenberg Fraser describing the tower as "A light crystalline cluster of volumes. It introduces verticality above the podium level and provides articulated surfaces that structure the built form."

Bombastic language aside, the architects aim is to create two contrasting elements, they being the podium and tower. Particularly pleasing is the use of greenery over the carpark levels. Not only does the greenery hide the inactive perforated metal screens, it ties in nicely with the intended park greenery of the immediate area.

As expected, Maribyrnong City Council have voiced opposition over a number of issues relating to this application. 1 Warde Street has failed to gain support from City of Maribyrnong based on the following factors.

  • The proposal significantly exceeds the 12 storey height limit allowed under local policy
  • The proposal fails to provide an appropriate land use mix, with recreation and community uses lacking in particular
  • The proposal fails to provide diversity in housing choice
  • Overshadowing issues
  • Unacceptable internal amenity for occupants due to wind impacts
  • Insufficient carparking provisions

Whilst Council have submitted the above injections, they have also requested that upon gaining approval (in whatever form that may be) via DPCD, a Development Contribution of $900 per dwelling be imposed, which is higher than what has been allowed for in the planning application.

Whereas a number of planning applications in the Joseph Road Precinct have been put forward by non-developers seeking to sell their land parcel with planning approval in place, 1 Warde Street may well be the first development to break ground. Working on the assumption that 1 Warde Street will eventually gain planning approval from DPCD, its likely Urban Inc as a property developer will see this application through to fruition.

All images above taken from DPCD planning application and © Elenberg Fraser Architects.

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