By David Schout
The redevelopment of a historic Bourke St constructing right into a large-scale bar and restaurant is headed for the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) after builders have been left pissed off by a 1am closing time restrict.
The O’Brien Group will contest City of Melbourne planning allow situations for the venue, a restoration of the derelict Job Warehouse, that limits working hours to 1am reasonably than 3am.
It is about to face the council at a VCAT obligatory convention on June 21, the place events confidentially talk about methods to resolve their dispute.
The heritage-listed Job Warehouse constructing within the CBD’s east finish, most just lately a haberdashery enterprise, was constructed within the 1840s and has sat derelict since 2012.
In 2019, the O’Brien Group acquired a long-term lease of the location, and final 12 months unveiled plans for a big bar and restaurant, open till 3am.
But late final 12 months councillors voted unanimously to as a substitute grant a planning allow for a 1am closing time and for max patronage of 673, reasonably than a proposed 957.
At the time, CEO Michael O’Brien stated the massive prices concerned with the mission meant it will require a beneficial liquor licence to lock within the venue’s future.
“Due to the age of the building and its heritage status, the care, time and skill needed to restore this building is three times what it would normally be. To make it viable, we need a 3am licence,” he stated.
The Job Warehouse has been described as one of many CBD’s “most high-profile eyesores”, and requires its restoration have come from throughout the board.
However late final 12 months the council sided with over 100 close by residents that had objected to the O’Brien Group proposal.
“This is a really difficult application,” Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece stated in December.
“It’s one of those balancing acts where on the one hand, the city is very, very keen to see a vibrant nighttime economy and is very, very keen to see investment in its nighttime economy and that’s what the O’Briens are offering. On the other hand, I think concerns that have been raised by large numbers of residents are very legitimate as well. It is notable to me that the apartment buildings on Liverpool [St] Lane are not new — they have been there for 30-plus years, and many of the residents have lived along the laneway for 30 years, or certainly well over a decade.”
The O’Brien Group’s portfolio of venues consists of the Bondi Icebergs, O’Brien Icehouse in Docklands and the close by Imperial Hotel.
When contacted by CBD News, CEO Michael O’Brien stated the Group didn’t want to touch upon the upcoming VCAT listening to.
A council spokesperson stated the choice to grant a 1am license was commonplace.
“City of Melbourne councillors unanimously supported approving the redevelopment of the former Job Warehouse site last year, believing it will offer important economic benefits to the city,” the spokesperson stated.
“The 1am closure time approved by councillors is consistent with similar large-scale venues close to sensitive residential uses.”