Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Vale The Greyhound

Now just hang on here. Yes, it is efficient to build population density in the inner suburbs, but how far should it go? Our inner suburban roads are already so congested and our public transport is overwhelmed with numbers of passengers. St Kilda already has the a pocket of the most densely populated area of Melbourne.

A demolition permit has been issued for the Greyhound Hotel in St Kilda. Seldom am I so shocked. How could this happen? Tens of thousands of dollars has been spent on this hotel in the last few years, if not hundreds of thousands.

I have great memories of the Greyhound. It went from being a grungy hotel to a hotel that crossed borders and catered for gays in one area, live bands in another and local drinkers too. We went there many times, with friends and with R's relatives when they visited from overseas. I had an interesting conversation with a local gay entrepreneur while at the urinal and found R's missing pot of beer when he became stressed. With our friend Carlos, we sat cross legged on the floor watching a drag performance like we were Sunday school children.

The Greyhound was forced to soundproof itself as ghastly blocks of flats were built around it. Haha, buy a place and then complain about the noise from the pub next door to where you have bought.

I don't know much about The Greyhound now, but just this year we were there, at the wake for James/Jasmin. We were treated well with fine finger food put on for us at no cost, obviously coming from the profits from the drinks we bought. I am sure we passed by recently one Saturday night and saw a queue on the street to enter the pub.

I don't blame the owners for not refusing a good offer. I don't really blame the council or the very evil Vcat for the issuing of a demolition permit for The Greyhound. It is all quite legal and the building has no great architectural merit. Yet it has an intangible quality and adds to the immediate area.Some Sometimes I just don't have the word skills to express things as I would like, and this is one such occasion.

This is my photo and make it bigger by clicking on it and seeing the ghastly block of flats built next door.


This is an artist's impression published in The Age of what will be built there, and we all know about artists' impressions. It is monstrous and surely won't be approved. Well, the council may not approve it but the developer will appeal to VCAT who will give it a great big tick. VCAT consistently goes against local councils and residents over developer projects. VCAT is a disgrace.


VCAT stands for Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

16 comments:

  1. Everything's falling here too, to development, the old hot spots, the treasured little hobbit houses and pack rat stores, all falling the face of extreme housing prices. They sell and make a mint when they do, to developers who build fancy expensive housing. I can't blame the little businesses, who have this one chance at making some big money. But there will be a crash I think, at least here, and we will mourn the quirky original creative little businesses and affordable housing lost. R.I.P. Greyhound.

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    1. Strayer, it seems to be the way of the world. Incidentally, while I did not know the term house flipping until you explained it, to my surprise R did know the terms. Here, you pay capital gains tax on the difference between what you buy and investment property for and what you sell it for. It is a bit more complicated than that, but it does mean not so much profit for flippers.

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  2. I hate to see buildings torn down. It's like a death.

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    1. Sandra, buildings but even more for me, trees.

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  3. It is sad to lose a place that has such atmosphere and presence, but much sadder will be the monstrosity the developers have planned. Possibly that won't be built, developers often draw up pictures of something supremely awful to get the public objections out of the way quickly. Everyone makes a fuss, then the developers have a 'change of heart' and build something more acceptable and the general public says, yes this is much more acceptable, which is the developers plan all along.
    I have to admit, I do like the block of flats already built to the left of the Greyhound. They're modern, but not atrocious.

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    1. River, I hope you are right. The block next door looks cheap and nasty and I suppose they are cheap to rent and or were cheap to buy. City of Port Phillip Housing Trust have built some terrific apartments for low income residents that don't look cheap and nasty, but they were still cheap to build.

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  4. You know what made me smile Andrew! The people in the ghastly flats who complained about the pub are now going to have this monstrosity next door.. just desserts hey 😀😀

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    1. Grace, a good point and one that had not occurred to me.

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  5. That seems a great shame to demolish that building - always have to smash something, don't they!

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    1. Margaret, smashing things that are in very good condition. We see it with large houses all over Melbourne, where a large family home on a large block disappears in a couple of days and replaced by a smart block of perhaps 15 apartments, often occupied by overseas Chinese. Many of these buildings will not age well.

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  6. That artist's impression makes the replacement building look like it is covered in bathroom tiles.

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    1. Recycling the old public bar tiles?

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  7. Do VCAT ever say no? It seems they approve everything that comes their way. Sad to see old buildings, markable or not, being demolished.

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    1. CM, they do at times. They argue that they are bound by planning rules. I argue that they interpret the rules very badly. Rather like how bureaucrats no longer offer government independent advice, VCAT knows the government wants economic growth from construction, and not from protecting our heritage.

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  8. NO WAY!!! I'm gutted by this. I was there earlier this year and we had a great time. You're right, they have spent heaps renovating it, I was impressed by how much it had had done to it. Wow. The buck making from apartments in this city is ridiculous.

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    1. Fen, I think in the past we have had more actual fun and laughs there than any other venue, or maybe venues combined. Why can't developers be made to work within the shell of a building with maybe a modest addition of a couple of apartments on the roof.

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