Australia Post plans to redevelop its West Melbourne call centre

The planned 501-dwelling development would replace a call centre in Rosslyn Street, West Melbourne.Historic Duke of Kent pub unlikely to survive sale

Australia Post has lodged plans for an ambitious mixed-use development with 501 dwellings to replace its Rosslyn Street call centre in West Melbourne.

The postal service announced in February its plans to move staff from the centre into 10,000 square metres of office space on levels 21 to 26 of 180 Lonsdale Street, which sits atop the QV shopping centre.

Instead of immediately selling the Rosslyn Street property, which is in a prime location, it has designed a village of five large buildings to cover the 9200-square-metre site bordered by Rosslyn, Adderley and Dudley streets.

The proposal includes five apartment towers between six and 19 storeys tall with 11 retail spaces and 396 car spaces.

They will replace a three-level brick building and car park.

Project architect Rothelowman senior associate Belinda Nincevic said the design included a public ”piazza” along Rosslyn Street with a pedestrian link to Dudley Street.

”Several buildings [were] designed to open up a previously closed-off inner-urban block, and provide a variety of public spaces in addition to retail and commercial tenancies,” Ms Nincevic said.

If approved, it will be one of the largest projects in the northern part of the city and is likely to prove controversial with local residents.

Last year supermarket giant Woolworths, despite bitter opposition from locals and the City of Melbourne, gained planning approval from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a supermarket and 300 apartments to be built in two high-rise towers in Canning Street, North Melbourne.

Woolworths put the site up for sale through CBRE’s Mark Wizel and Justin Dowers who confirmed that a transaction was imminent.

Fairfax Media previously reported it will change hands for more than $20 million.

A former lord mayor and chairman of North and West Melbourne Association, Kevin Chamberlin, said Australia Post should inform potential residents that the suburb lacked the infrastructure to support such large projects.

”This development will be a real test case because the community has fought hard to keep the high-rise south of Dudley Street, in the CBD. This will be the first major attempt to breach that long-standing practice and barrier,” he said.

An Australia Post spokeswoman confirmed the site would be sold after call centre staff moved to Lonsdale Street.

”We are looking to maximise the value of the Rosslyn Street site, with a view to offering it to the market in the near future,” she said.

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