Footscray’s Nicholson Street heritage strip could have its first 10-storey tower under plans lodged with Maribyrnong council for a new 20-apartment project.

The owners of 151 and 153 Nicholson Street are seeking to redevelop the site, currently occupied by double-storey shops that date back to the late 1800s.

The 358 square-metre site sits in the ‘Little Africa’ strip between Nicholson Street and Trugo Lane in Footscray’s activity centre zone, just to the north of Irving Street.

An urban context report supporting the application states that the new building will be of contemporary design, with two shops at ground level topped by 10 parking spaces and 20 apartments – eight one-bedroom, eight two-bedroom and four three-bedroom.


The property as it will appear from the rear.

“While the proposed building will be somewhat higher than its immediate neighbours, the setbacks of its upper-levels from each end of the site will protect both the Nicholson Street and Trugo Lane streetscapes and the amenity of the neighbourhood,” it states.

“The development will contribute to the revitalisation and transformation of Footscray into a vibrant residential, employment and recreation centre and be of high architectural and urban design quality.”

The development would attempt to recognise the existing building’s historic and aesthetic significance by retaining the Nicholson Street façade, but the remainder would be demolished.

The report argues for a reduction from the required 15 to 10 car parking spaces due to the project’s central location and proximity to transport.

A decision on the proposal will be made in coming months.