06 March 2016

Drinks Under The Clock

This article originally appeared in The Herald Sun, and was written by John Masanauskas, March 3rd, 2016.

Rooftop bar on Nylex tower in $1b redevelopment of Melbourne landmark

A ROOFTOP bar honouring the famous Nylex clock and sign will provide 360degree views of Melbourne under a proposed $1 billion redevelopment.

Backers of The Malt District concept in Cremorne want to tap into the millions of annual visitors to nearby sports venues such as the MCG and Melbourne Park.

But developer Caydon is worried the site has been left derelict for far too long and is facing further project delays amid problems with vandalism, trespassing thrillseekers and squatters.

The company has organised around-the-clock security patrols, however people are finding ways into the fenced-off site and putting themselves in danger in the asbestos-filled buildings.

Caydon principal Joe Russo said it was a shame the site had been left to rot for so long because planning authorities and previous developers had been unable to agree on plans.

“We hope to change this because a location like this should be accessible for all Melburnians to appreciate,” he said. “Making good some of the neglected historical structures as we are proposing to do … is an expense we are happy to take on to maintain a connection with the past.”

The three-stage plan envisages about 1000 apartments, a micro brewery in a restored heritage building, plaza, bike cafe, shops, restaurants, enclosed garden and possible ferry stop.

The silos with the iconic Nylex clock will be demolished but the clock will be restored and repositioned on a new tower to be the centrepiece of a Nylex rooftop bar and restaurant offering spectacular views of the city.

It is expected that up to 1500 jobs will be created, comprising 1000 construction jobs and about 450 restaurant, accommodation and tourism positions.

An economic significance study prepared for Caydon by consultant Deep End Services said the plan, modelled on overseas leisure precincts like the New Orleans Warehouse District, would be a tourist magnet.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal will soon rule on the stage one planning application after the City of Yarra failed to make a decision in the required time.

The council says stage one, which includes a maximum 19-storey tower, would unreasonably affect the character and amenity of the area by overshadowing the Yarra and nearby apartments. It has also argued that it would impact on the “landmark quality” of the Nylex sign.