By both necessity and opportunity, the owners of Hotel Lindrum are seeking approval for a high-rise tower set behind their historic former Romanesque tea warehouse which fronts Flinders Street.
Entity TMG Developments Pty Ltd is pursuing the development in part due to Hotel Lindrum's pending loss of guest car parking in the adjoining multi-level car park which is subject to a development application. In addition to expanded hotel suites and residential apartments, guest car parking will be consolidated onsite under the proposal.
Bates Smart has conceived a slim tower of some 30 levels, substantially lower than the initial site application which called for 53 levels.
With over 100 years of history, the existing structure was best known as a billiard and snooker centre with the niece of champion billiard player Walter Lindrum managing the business, hence the Lindrum reference within the current name.
Heritage advisory Bryce Raworth prepared a Heritage Impact Analysis as a response to Council queries toward the development of the building which is included on the heritage overlay schedule of the Melbourne Planning Scheme as HO 1034.
Under current plans it's expected that the majority of the existing structure will be demolished for the proposed tower, with the southern facade to remain intact. Approximately half the eastern and western facades will remain as will limited interior walls according to plans.
The initial version of 26-30 Flinders Street was submitted during July 2015 with revised plans put forward in recent weeks. City of Melbourne found a number of issues with the original proposal which would have spanned 183.3 metres in height and included 143 residential apartments above 83 hotel suites.
A 'facaded' outcome and a deviation from "accepted conservation standards" were chief amongst Council's concerns, with a "significant height reduction, increased setbacks and refinements to the architectural treatment of the intermediate levels of the tower" included in the revised plans.
The current version also sees an increase in separation from the existing building to tower above by way of an expanded transitional design element separation the two.
Hotel Lindrum is the fifth significant building in the eastern reaches of the CBD to see new or expanded hotel facilities proposed. Whilst some projects have faltered, others are poised to advance.
Windsor Hotel and Bourke Street's Palace Theatre are the two highest profile projects, with both now free to pursue expanded or new hotel developments.
The proposed hotel above what was Rosati Restaurant at 95 Flinders Lane failed to eventuate whilst the most recent development incarnation of the Forum Theatre had its processing suspended midway through planning with City of Melbourne.