A multi-storey hotel and apartment complex flagged for the site of the half-built Club Edgewater project could be “called in” for a decision by Maribyrnong councillors.
The trouble-plagued $30 million club project, which was to include a gaming lounge with 70 gaming machines, up to 40 hotel rooms and 12 double-storey residential apartments, was abandoned in 2015 when Western Bulldogs and developer Prizac parted ways after an acrimonious falling out.
Maribyrnong Council has confirmed to Star Weekly that a new application has been lodged for 31 Edgewater Boulevard, behind Maribyrnong Aldi, for a multi-storey residential, hotel and commercial development.
New plans were lodged with the council in May, but the application has not been revealed until now.
Maribyrnong council planning services director Nigel Higgins said the proposal was not required to be advertised as it is “generally consistent” with the approved development plan for the overall Edgewater Estate.
The proponents last year tried to leverage opposition to poker machines into support for doubling the building’s height to incorporate 70 hotel apartments, 133 residential apartments and a 200-seat rooftop restaurant.
However, the Western Bulldogs have since sold all gaming entitlements associated with the approved development. Planning approval for the club is due to expire in January.
Planning documentation states that the future manager of the building would be Adara Hotels, which operates complexes in Richmond and Collins Street. Adara did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
When contacted by Star Weekly, a representative of Prizac refused to comment other than to say he would “make an announcement at the appropriate time”.
Residents Against Inappropriate Development in Maribyrnong spokesman Enzo DeFazio said the project was a “massive overdevelopment”, given the planning scheme for the Edgewater Neighbourhood Activity Centre recommends a height of three storeys. He said a parking shortfall would place more pressure on already strained street parking.
“Of course we would love to see something done with this site as it’s been an eyesore for many years now,” he said.
“However, what is being proposed is more in line with a Major Activity Centre such as Highpoint and central Footscray.”
Maribyrnong deputy mayor and ward councillor Sarah Carter said she has asked for a full briefing on the proposal and has flagged “calling it in” so councillors, rather than council staff, have the final say.