The $200 million redevelopment of the heritage-listed Wesley Church site at 118-148 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne has received official sanction with Minister for Planning Richard Wynne approving the project.
The approved permit includes conditions to extend the building setbacks, reduce overshadowing over Cohen Place and increase the separation to the nearby Regency tower. New additions include ground and lower level retail space, a new ground level park and two public walkways through the site. Designed by Cox Architecture, the 34-level commercial office tower will sit on the eastern portion of the Wesley Church site with frontages to Lonsdale Street, Little Lonsdale Street and Jones Lane.
Given that the entire site is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, the redevelopment project has also received the necessary demolition permit from the Heritage Council for some of the buildings on the property, including the Princess Mary Club. A plaque recognising the historic significance of the club will be installed on site to mark its role in Melbourne’s past.
The office tower is part of a broader proposal to restore heritage elements of the site, including the Wesley Church, the Manse and the school house. The redevelopment will also fund the restoration and maintenance of the church’s other buildings. The Uniting Church will be provided space in the new office tower, ensuring a permanent home for the church and Wesley Mission Victoria.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said the new tower for the Wesley Church site will deliver more office space to the inner city without overwhelming the historic neighbouring church. He added that the approval allows the Wesley Church to continue with its plan to fund the Wesley Mission and upgrade the other historic buildings on the site.
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