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A bigger Arts Precinct?

14 Dec 2017

A bigger Arts Precinct? Image

Could Southbank’s world-famous Arts Precinct get any bigger?

Speculation on the subject has heightened with the Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) headquarters building at 77 Southbank Boulevard having been put up for sale in June.

With a buyer still yet to emerge, The Australian reported on November 2 that the Victorian Government had emerged as a top contender to purchase the building as a key strategic asset.

Located directly behind the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), CUB has occupied the building since it was constructed in 1991 and is now on a three-year lease in part of the building.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) said modest mandatory height controls at the site limited any major redevelopment of the site.

“The planning controls state that a permit must not be granted for buildings and works, including the replacement of an existing building, which exceed the maximum building height (in this case 24m),” the DELWP spokesperson said.

This would ultimately pave the way for the State Government’s new agency Development Victoria to purchase the building and there is growing talk within the arts community that it could be incorporated into the Arts Precinct.

Positioned on the Sturt St between the likes of NGV, the Australian Ballet Centre and the Melbourne Recital Centre, the acquisition would undoubtedly boost the State Government’s Arts Precinct Blueprint vision.

A spokesperson from the Department of Treasury and Finance said it wasn’t able to comment on whether the government had expressed interest in the building or not.

“The Victorian Government occasionally looks at strategic opportunities to acquire available sites. However, we do not comment on whether or not we are looking at individual sites,” the spokesperson said.

Southbank Local News understands that the State Government is in discussions with a number of key arts institutions about potentially occupying the site.

With a number of institutions including the NGV, Arts Centre Melbourne and ACMI-X said to be at maximum capacity, the building could house a host a mixture of arts for a range of uses.

Watch this space!

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