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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Which are Melbourne's biggest bombsites? I'm compiling a list and so far I've got the CUB site, the old Savoy Hotel site on Spencer St, the old Kodak facory site in Coburg, the Coburg High School site, the old MFB site in Richmond, the "cheesegrater" site in Fitzroy, and that's it. are there others i'm forgetting?
 

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the kodak factory in Coburg has Victorias tallest remaining brick chimney.(3rd tallest in oz). as long as this remains, the rest can go.
 

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urbanman #2 said:
Which are Melbourne's biggest bombsites? I'm compiling a list and so far I've got the CUB site, the old Savoy Hotel site on Spencer St, the old Kodak facory site in Coburg, the Coburg High School site, the old MFB site in Richmond, the "cheesegrater" site in Fitzroy, and that's it. are there others i'm forgetting?
Not sure the MFB site is really a bomb-site, the building is vacant but intact and the external areas are still used by the MFB pending completion of their new facility in Burnley (built on the old abattoirs site which was certainly a bomb-site). Salta, the owners, only bought it last year and have been very active in putting a number of proposals to Yarra city for substantial developments on this and a number of neighbouring sites.
 

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Agent of Change
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The westend of Flinders Street is full of them so is Lonsdale, and Spencer Street. Rather than 'bomb sites' I see them as sites with potential. But yes they are very crap.
 

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Surely something should be done to that horrrible rundown "hotel" on the corner of Flinders and Spencer Sts.
 

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maybe thread title should be changed? if someone googles "melbourne bombsites" they will end up here. never mention bomb on the web. damn i just did.
damn.
 

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I love the former Royal Dental Hospital in Parkville. Its a wonderful modernist building that I would like to see it preserved (on the outside) and reused by the University.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes sorry, Prime Redevelopment Sites is a better name for this thread. I was more thinking of sites that are flattened with no buildings on them and have had tumbleweeds blowing over them for decades, like the CUB site. But the question of which existing, run-down buildings (not buildings like Fed Sq that people may love or hate, I mean buildings that have neared the end of their useful life) should be torn down and rebuilt is even more interesting. The dental hospital is a definite candidate.
 

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Aussie Steve said:
I love the former Royal Dental Hospital in Parkville. Its a wonderful modernist building that I would like to see it preserved (on the outside) and reused by the University.
I don't entirely dislike it, but I think it looks far better from the "roundabout of Death" side than Grattan Street side.

urbanman #2 said:
I was more thinking of sites that are flattened with no buildings on them and have had tumbleweeds blowing over them for decades, like the CUB site. But the question of which existing, run-down buildings (not buildings like Fed Sq that people may love or hate, I mean buildings that have neared the end of their useful life) should be torn down and rebuilt is even more interesting. The dental hospital is a definite candidate.
You did list the old Savoy site on Spencer Street (which still had a building on it), so I assumed that was the sort of "bomb site" you were referring to. Oh well, it is an interesting thread nonetheless! :)
 

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Anger grows over city 'bombsites'

....seems appropriate......but theres that word again 'bomb'..

Anger grows over city 'bombsites'


http://www.theage.com.au/news/natio...1146198391615.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1

-The Age
By Clay Lucas
April 30, 2006

Pressure is growing for local councils to do something about ugly,
derelict sites blighting the Melbourne landscape. Clay Lucas reports.

THEY are Melbourne's worst eyesores — blights on the city landscape that have remained unchanged for years.

Now a backlash against owners of Melbourne's "bombsites" is growing, as councils come under pressure to get rid of them.

Despite more than a decade of boom times, hundreds of sites remain ugly blights on the landscape.

"There are so many old industrial sites around that were sold cheaply because there's so much work to be done on them," City of Melbourne councillor Fraser Brindley said. "There's a lot of speculation being done by developers, who then sit on them for years. We have to push them into doing something — to strangle this sort of speculation."

The backlash has seen a renewed call for RMIT University to develop the old Carlton and United Brewery site in Swanston Street. The Melbourne City Council has waived more than $700,000 of rates on the site since 1998, under provisions of the Local Government Act that allow councils to forgo rates on educational facilities.

But councils across Melbourne are watching closely a Moreland City Council plan to quadruple rates on more than 1000 derelict and unsafe sites. Moreland wants to encourage redevelopment or clean-ups.

"Councils keep writing to owners of sites telling them to clean them up and they do nothing," Moreland Mayor Anthony Helou said. "It's time to make the owners look after their properties. This is the first time we've had something to fight back with."

Melbourne City Council major projects chairman Peter Clarke said the city was investigating ways to promote redevelopment of CBD "bombsites".

Former Melbourne councillor Kevin Chamberlin said it was a disgrace that RMIT had "enjoyed a rate holiday". "Ratepayers have subsidised RMIT's indulgence to the tune of at least $700,000 by not making them pay rates on a site they will ultimately sell for commercial development," he said.

Most of the CBD's major derelict sites have disappeared in the past decade as the booming economy spurred into action developers who had "land-banked" the properties.

Moreland is targeting sites such as the old Coburg High School. Under the new plan, the dilapidated site would cost its owner $36,000 a year instead of $9000.

But developers say council planning delays are mostly to blame for sites remaining derelict. "Fair enough, developers should clean up sites, but let's not talk about overcharging for rates because (councils) have failed to make a decision quickly enough," Tony De Domenico, from the Urban Development Institute of Australia, said.

The Moreland plan would just discourage developers, he said.

Melbourne City Council planning chairwoman Catherine Ng said the council would monitor Moreland's scheme before considering it. "But there are not sufficient rules to force people to get on with their development, so it's an interesting (plan)," she said.

The State Government did not want to comment, but Opposition planning spokesman Ted Baillieu said "exorbitant land taxes" already penalised developers. "This is sending yet another signal that developers might as well pack up and go to another state," he said.

Architect and developer Ivan Rijavec said some large sites in the inner city already cost up to $1 million to hold.

Hard on the eye

■ The 20,000-square-metre CUB site on the corner of Swanston Street and Victoria Parade (pictured) was a brewery and headquarters for Carlton and United Breweries from 1862 to 1994. It was bought by Nauru in 1994 and sold to RMIT in 1998; RMIT still owns it. Proposals have included a casino, head office for John Elliott's failed Elders corporation, a graduate school for Melbourne University and student accommodation.

■ The asbestos-riddled Spencer Street power station, on the corner of Lonsdale and Spencer streets and opposite The Age and The Sunday Age. Closed in 1982, it was offloaded by Melbourne City Council in 2002 for $4 million to a developer who quickly went broke. In 2004, a 13-year-old girl fell seven metres in the disused power station and died.

■ The Savoy Tavern, opposite Southern Cross Railway Station, was boarded up in 1995 and has sat vacant and crumbling ever since. Mark Rowsthorn, Toll Holdings executive and brother of comedian Peter Rowsthorn, paid $9.9 million for it last year.

■ The "cheesegrater" site, a vacant Fitzroy block bounded by Napier, Kerr, Young and Armstrong streets. The site of a controversial apartment proposal, it has sat dormant since the project was abandoned in late 2004.

■ The fire-damaged Coburg High School site in Bell Street has been dormant since 1998. It has changed ownership three times but is no closer to being developed.

■ Brunswick's dusty Whelan the Wrecker site. Drug dealer Tony Mokbel and former brothel owner Jack Smit proposed an "avant garde" apartment tower. Its ownership is now in dispute.

■ The former Kodak factory in Coburg, a 27-hectare site left in the wake of Kodak's Melbourne plant closure last year.

■ The Mainland site at 565 Collins, which has been fenced off for 15 years.
 

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urbanman #2 said:
Which are Melbourne's biggest bombsites? I'm compiling a list and so far I've got the CUB site, the old Savoy Hotel site on Spencer St, the old Kodak facory site in Coburg, the Coburg High School site, the old MFB site in Richmond, the "cheesegrater" site in Fitzroy, and that's it. are there others i'm forgetting?

As far as the CUB site is concerned I have been told from Magaret Gardner (VC of RMIT) that the site will be 70-80% commercial with the rest being student accomodation. Also RMIT's Graduate School of Business will be moved to the Emily Mcpherson Building in the short term. The long term plan being to move the entire business school to the car park behind the Oxford Scholar Hotel.
 

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Melburnian_in_sydney said:
As far as the CUB site is concerned I have been told from Magaret Gardner (VC of RMIT) that the site will be 70-80% commercial with the rest being student accomodation. Also RMIT's Graduate School of Business will be moved to the Emily Mcpherson Building in the short term. The long term plan being to move the entire business school to the car park behind the Oxford Scholar Hotel.
That is not good. It is a similar situation at the University of Melbourne. It spent literally decades trying to aquire land in Carlton. When it finally obtained an entire block, it turned it into student apartments! The University is terribly over-crowded as it is, and they "throw away" land like that for non-academic purposes. A waste of taxpayers' money if you ask me.

I know the RMIT is equally squished into its location. Given that the CUB property has been non-ratable for years now (because it is supposed to be used for "educational purposes"), it is more than frustrating to see it turned into more flats. It should be used for the purpose it was purchased (at taxpayers' expense) - that is, to extend the RMIT.

(rant over!)
 

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Be awesome if RMIT consolidated into say a pair of brand new purpose built buildings. Fill up the CUB site and the A'Beckett street carpark site with two or more large buildings each of which about 15-20 floors high and designed to be artistic, enviromentally friendly, and ergonomic. Maybe something like NAB HQ but a few more levels stacked on top. If they want to build student accomodations prehaps the could put up a purpose built tower on top of the educational part of the building? You should be able to fit a lot of student sized closets (by that I mean apartments) in a 75-100m tower would you not? And providing views, balconies, easy access, etc to student accomodation seems to be of almost zero concern relative to squeezing in as many rentable rooms as possible.

New buildings would allow new proper facilites RMIT needs such as basketball courts and other rec, retail facilities, more and better designed offices, brand new communications network purpose designed, new labs and lecture theaters. Anyone who has ever had the luck of being assigned an office in RMIT building 12 or 14 will realise just how bad the offices there are. Cramped, poor design, little or natural light. They have high ceilings but very little floor space. Additionally a whole stack of terrace houses across Victoria Street are occupied by RMIT for offices. More space in Carlton, Bourke Street, Elizabeth Street, opposite side of Swanston Street, A'Beckett Street and Little Latrobe Street. I think it is time for some consolidation.
 

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I think part of the northern end of the CUB site should become a park. It'd also be nice to have a new Faculty of Architecture building as I think Building 8 has already passed its use by date and I hate the thing with a passion. It'd be nice to have a building solely for architecture.
 
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