Inner Melbourne used to be considered a 10 kilometre radius from the CBD but more recently this has now expanded to include properties within a 25 kilometre radius. Sadly, the situation sees a competition between ‘Developers’ and those who genuinely appreciate the beauty of Heritage architecture.
Many of these older homes in median suburbs such as Camberwell, Kew, Malvern, Elsternwick, Brighton, Essendon, Moonee Ponds – the list goes on – are well and truly under threat. Larger blocks, older homes built from the turn of the 20th century until the 1930’s are now under threat. Developers see open space (front yards, back yards and gardens) as a premium construction opportunity. The very idea of preservation is counter productive to their interests.
As a consequence, it’s not unusual to see delightful Edwardian residences, often with slate roofing and terracotta gargoyles left to the elements. A famous example is the property on the corner of Denmark Street and Barkers Road, Kew. A lovely old Edwardian, the slate roof is now holed and the place surrounded by security fencing.
Think of what the alternative might be. Restore the building to its original external structure. The six sided box – walls, floors and ceilings. Assess the foundations, the chimneys, verandas, windows and doors. Commission a proper Heritage Architectural Report.
Considering land value is it not just as sensible to restore such a property to a comfortable living condition? Add extensions and reconfigure the internal spaces, perhaps a pool and walled garden to the rear.
In ten year’s time the property value would be three to four times your initial investment – if you utilised a qualified Heritage Architect and plan an effective restoration and makeover.
Where a property is not Heritage Listed or part of a Heritage Overlay, neglect is the Developer’s friend “Oh it’s too far gone”. This is where Councils, local governments, must lift their game. It’s time to allocate decent resources to ensuring Heritage Overlays are kept up to date and provide genuine protection for older, more gracious homes.
The issue is that very liveable homes in good condition of up to 120 years in age are being demolished. Quite simply Real Estate Agents are pitching to Developers, not residential buyers “suitable for development”. Why? Money! It’s an easy sale and in many areas, land for development is currently at a premium – no matter what building may be standing on the property now.
For a full Heritage Report followed by a complete Heritage Restoration and Design package, call now on 0418 341 443 to speak with Heritage Architect, Andrew Fedorowicz ( Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects). Andrew offers experience, expertise and a passion for Heritage restoration. Alternatively, leave your details here for a prompt reply. Consultations are obligation free with no initial fees being charged.
It’s a gracious alternative, one that is slower to realise a profit, but one that offers dignity and an acknowledgement of beauty and craftsmanship of the past and a splendid place for you and your family to live and thrive.
Balance Architecture – Specialists in Heritage Architecture.