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Transformation in Montague

On a grey day in June 2015, I walked down Ferrars St when the gloom was lifted by the sight of a single strawberry outside CAPI’s (then) warehouse. That memory was triggered when I saw a green wall purposely planted with strawberries at 444 City Rd.

It made me think about how much has changed in Montague since 2013. Here are five sites in Montague – ‘Now & Then’.

1. Montague Square

134 – 142 Ferrars St was one of the first planning applications made after the rezoning of Fishermans Bend in 2012. Originally submitted as a 49 level proposal, it has been completed as an 18 level building known as Montague Square, designed by Rothelowman. Montague Square has been explicitly constructed for rental accommodation. It is immediately opposite South Melbourne Primary School.

2. South Melbourne Primary School

Following a concerted campaign by Two Schools Now, the Andrews Government bought the former MTC site and commissioned the South Melbourne Primary School designed by Hayball architects. The dynamic school under the leadership of principal Noel Creece is just longing for its students to return.

3. Kirrip Park

Personal trainers and their clients enjoy the hardscaping at the edge of Kirrip Park.

To create open space for the Montague precinct and the adjacent South Melbourne Primary School, the state government bought the site owned by CAPI to create Kirrip Park. The Port Phillip Council contributed very extensive streetscape works to slow traffic and introduce landscaping. Yarra Trams upgraded the City Rd x Ferrars St tram stop.

Children from the school bring the park to life, personal trainers meet with their clients, and dogs and their owners enjoy the companionship Kirrip Park offers. The landscaped edges attract bees and butterflies.

The combination of the school, the park, the streetscape works and the tram upgrade has created a place from many elements.

4. Smaller sites

A six level mixed use building by Jackson Clement Burrows was completed in 2020 and The Relief Unit opened a second outpost in the rounded corner at the base of the building. (their first is on Park St, near Clarendon St)

5. Changed uses

Motorbike and scooter showrooms replace car repair shops – although Corso Body Works repairs Teslas. Vertical gardens replace lawnmower hire. Coffee shops emerge – spoiled for choice between ‘444’, The Relief Unit, and Wise Barrista. The South Melbourne Market is just 500 m away.

Major change will continue in Montague. This is just a marker along the way.


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