Residents have slammed developers for fanning concerns about pokies in order to ram through an “unacceptable” development at Maribyrnong.
Residents Against Inappropriate Development in Maribyrnong (RAIDIM) president Enzo De Fazio said architecture and branding firm Hachem wrote to the group on behalf of Adara Hotels, which is negotiating the takeover of the abandoned Club Edgewater development on Edgewater Boulevard, seeking support for a new proposal.
Adara is working with property developer Prizac to vastly inflate the size of the project, left in limbo last year when the Western Bulldogs walked away from the $30 million project.
The club was opposed by more than 2500 residents and rejected by Maribyrnong Council, but VCAT set aside the council’s refusal and approved a four-storey building housing a sports bar, bistro, café, function space, 50 hotel rooms and a gaming lounge with 70 gaming machines.
Adara’s proposal would increase the building’s height by an undisclosed number of storeys to include 133 apartments, 70 hotel rooms, a 200-seat restaurant, gym and retail, with 176 car spaces.
Hachem’s letter states Adara is “a community focussed organisation” that would prefer to eliminate the gaming element of the project.
“However, there is a commercial prerequisite which we are required to meet in order for Adara to develop and operate the site.
“If we are unable to meet this requirement, my client will therefore withdraw and the gaming venue will be built.”
The June 16 letter seeks “an agreement with RAIDIM immediately… please advise your position as a matter of urgency.”
Mr De Fazio said the group fired back a letter seeking more information, but is yet to receive a response.
“RAIDIM is now left to question if the highly emotive wording used in Hachem’s letter – and strongly presented as the only alternative to a gambling venue – was merely to garner community support for a proposal of substantial overdevelopment with a significant lack of parking,” Mr De Fazio said.
“Adara’s proposal will tower over Edgewater’s shopping precinct and provide no car spaces for its proposed 200 patron restaurant, gym, cocktail lounge and retail shops/cafes.”
He said this would place an unacceptable strain on Edgewater’s roads and parking.
“RAIDIM would welcome a new development proposal from Adara Group that does comply with planning laws for that site and which positively benefits the Edgewater Estate.”
Maribyrnong council planning services director Nigel Higgins said Prizac’s current permit requires the existing proposal to be completed by January 21, 2018.
It has already had two extensions of time.
Adara did not respond to a request for comments.