A controversial plan by the city to re-open two high-rise condominium towers at the corner of Port Philip and Point East has sparked outrage from residents who fear the area will become uninhabitable due to rising sea levels.
The Port Phillip Harbour Development Authority has filed a permit application with the city’s planning department for the two highrises, a $200 million project that includes a pool, tennis courts, swimming pool and two swimming pools.
The development was approved by city council in November and will be complete by the end of 2020.
The project has sparked fierce debate in the neighbourhood and has drawn the ire of residents who say the area has become too hot to live in.
The proposal to demolish the high-rises, which had been built in the 1970s, would remove more than two-thirds of the building, said David McBride, who lives on the street next to the buildings.
“The building will not be habitable in 20 years,” he said.
“It’s going to be a disaster in a very short period of time.”
McBride said he and his neighbours are worried about the impact of rising sea level on the area and how the condo buildings will be redeveloped if the plan is approved.
He said he has had to walk around his neighbourhood twice to get to his house because he doesn’t have enough street space to walk to his car.
The condo towers, built in a similar style to the ones in the city, are also set to become an additional $200-million condominium project, and a new condo on the same site is expected to be built, too.
McBride fears the condominium development will turn the entire waterfront into a sea of water.
“We have to protect the area,” he told The Associated Press.
“If the city doesn’t do it, we’ll be the new residents and that’s just going to take us down the drain.”
The proposed condo development at the intersection of Port Elizabeth and Point E. is slated to become the largest condo project in Port Phillip since the city completed a $20-million condo project for Point E in 2003.
The city has said the project will be completed by the fall.
The Harbour Development Association, a non-profit group that has advocated for a condo project on the site, said the condonts are expected to open in the fall of 2020 and the condo units will be constructed in 2021.
A spokeswoman for the development board said the application was being reviewed and that the company is confident that it will receive approval.
The plan is part of a $2.5-billion plan to redevelop Port Phillip, which has lost over a quarter of its residents since the 1980s.
The developers plan to build a condo complex, called the Port Phillip Beach Village, and condominium units at the location.
The redevelopment is being spearheaded by developer and Port Phillip Mayor John McNeill.
The Beach Village has attracted attention from celebrities, including actor Danny Glover and actress Jodie Foster, who recently visited.
The Beach Village also includes a popular swimming pool, and the city plans to build new roads and a park.
The waterfront has become an eyesore and a nuisance to many residents, who have raised concerns about the potential loss of the community’s green space and the health of the waterway.
The new condo development will be one of three in the development that have been approved by the planning department.
The other two projects, the Port Philip Beach and Port Elizabeth condominium projects, have been subject to extensive community engagement.
The developer and the Port Elizabeth project received an outpouring of support from the Port Adelaide community, which rallied behind them.
The community’s support was particularly strong following the death of former Mayor Paul Green, who died in March.
Green’s widow, Elizabeth Green, and other residents said they were moved to tears after meeting with Green and his wife.