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    Massive $100m redevelopment proposed for iconic Melbourne market site

    Kirsty Sier

    A near 60-year-old supermarket site in Melbourne’s inner-north has been slated for demolition as part of a $100-million redevelopment plan proposed by the site’s owners. If approved, the existing Piedimonte’s supermarket in North Fitzroy will be knocked down to make way for an 89-apartment multi-residential building and a new supermarket.

    Peddle Thorp Architects have already been approached by the site’s owners, Sam and Mal Piedimonte, for the design of two separate buildings – one five-storey and one seven-storey – that would be linked by a walkway on the second floor and enveloped with balconies made of perforated metal.

    Initial plans for the apartment complex include 23 one-bedroom, 62 two-bedroom and four three-bedroom apartments. A three-level basement carpark will also be built to accommodate both cars and bicycles, both to service residents and mitigate the area’s existing parking problems.

    In addition to the 3,715-square-metre, L-shaped site between Scotchmer and Best Streets that Piedimonte’s currently occupies, several neighbouring shops – also owned by the Piedimonte family – would also be repurposed for the new build. All up, the proposed site would effectively double the existing area occupied by Piedimonte’s.

    Backlash is already being anticipated from the notoriously development-averse North Fitzroy community. Most recently, the outcry that followed a proposed 16-storey project along Queens Parade led Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne to impose a 10-storey height restriction along the entire length of the strip, and resulted in a halving of the project in question.

    In their proposal for the redevelopment, the Piedimontes have explicitly stated that they plan to retain the heritage façades of several implicated heritage stores, including the 1920s-era Fisher and Co automotive workshop on Best Street. According to the architects, the new supermarket façade will also be designed with sensitivity to the old building’s aesthetic.

    Peddle Thorp Architects are staging a public information session tomorrow, Thursday 7 December, at Richmond Town Hall from 6pm to 7pm.

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