Woolies wins tender to build on ABC’s Elsternwick site

Retail giant Woolworths has won a tender to build a supermarket and twin-tower apartment complex on an Elsternwick site previously owned by national broadcaster ABC.

Development on the former Selwyn Street site of the ABC in south central Melbourne will continue after Woolies successfully appealed a second rejection of its plans to the Victorian Planning Court.

Angry residents of Elsternwick demonstrate outside the Woolworths site in 2021.
Credit:Joe Armao

The supermarket chain’s development company, Fabcott Pty Ltd, originally wanted to build a catwalk with two towers, one 14 storey, on the site, a plan which was initially rejected by Glen local council Eira and also on appeal in court.

Fabcott then submitted similar but revised plans for two towers, the taller at nine stories with increased setbacks.

They eventually won council approval although they were initially rejected and received multiple objections from local residents.

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Residents fear the significant building’s negative impact on nearby heritage properties, its use as a supermarket, impacts on nearby home amenities, and additional traffic.

Fabcott’s plans include a full-line supermarket, a bottle shop selling packaged alcohol, two small stores, a gathering place that also has offices, a library/museum, cafe and reception space as well as apartments above.

The court heard there were also concerns about the impact of the development on the former heritage fire station in Elsternwick.

Any changes to the fire station will need to be approved by Heritage Victoria and will potentially require changes to Woolies’ plans for the site.

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