Site purchase and demolition for one of Footscray's key renewal sites occurred during 2012. Thereafter the Binks Ford site has seen precious little activity.
But now plans are afoot for an intensive redevelopment of the 9,047sqm plot which abuts the Footscray rail corridor. Developer AVIC Developments Pty Ltd is seeking the green light for 412 dwellings across four separate residential buildings, with the tallest maxing out at 10 levels.
Dubbed 'Cowper Village' within the application, 34 Cowper Street was sold some years ago by Places Victoria. In a push to regenerate the massive land holding, AVIC Developments Pty Ltd has teamed with architects ClarkeHopkinsClarke.
Current plans for 34 Cowper Street are modest from a height perspective, relative to a number of earlier site-specific designs created (as seen below), and relative to the scale of development throughout the adjacent Joseph Road Precinct.
Indeed ClarkeHopkinsClarke's initial submission for 34 Cowper Street was significantly higher; 7 levels have been lopped from earlier plans in order to comply with preferred building heights under local built form guidelines. The loss of 7 levels hasn't demonstrably affected to total project apartment yield, with 33 less dwellings across the project.
Further design changes following Maribyrnong City Council's initial feedback also see a reworked open space plaza, enhanced pedestrian connectivity and amendments to the internal laneway.
With Jospeh Road Precinct all but accounted for, and the Kinnears site ready for its sales launch, 34 Cowper Street is the last of Footscray's 'super sites' to enter planning. Beyond the Binks Ford redevelopment, smaller-scale blocks such as Ryco at 11-19 Whitehall Street and the 501 Receptions site at 501 Barkly Street represent the next largest development sites in the pipeline.
The additions of 34 Cowper Street to the Urban Melbourne Project Database boosts the overall number of apartments monitored by Urban Melbourne within Footscray to an impressive 7,400. This figure is spread across 37 separate projects, with the majority of apartments found within Joseph Road Precinct.
Of those 7,400 plus apartments under 500 are at construction, alluding to the massive growth in Footscray's population that awaits.