ERA was engaged by Mark Drury Architects to gain approval for a warehouse conversion at 286 Argyle Street, North Hobart. North Hobart is a vibrant inner suburb of Hobart, and the site is close to the well-known restaurant strip, within walking distance of the Hobart CBD.

Zoned Light Industrial at the time under the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme 2015, the site was a previous glass factory that had been vacant for a number of years following a period of use for bulky good sales.

To facilitate the use of the site for residential purposes, ERA prepared a Section 43A application, being a combined rezoning and development application. The rezoning was to Inner Residential, while the permit application sought approval to convert the existing vacant warehouse into 12 residential apartments.

The proposal is to use the shell of the existing structure, with the building to be vertically divided into 12 components. These will align within the current steel portal frame structure, so that each apartment is across three levels.

The ground floor will be converted into the entry space, storage and vehicle parking garage. Pedestrian and vehicular access will be off Argyle Street. The first floor will contain living spaces for each apartment, and the second floor will accommodate the bedrooms and bathroom.

Each apartment will have access to a series of courtyards, light wells and open ‘slots’. These will direct natural light and air into the core of the building while allowing for the retention of the existing brick walls to the side and rear boundaries.

The rezoning request was supported by the City of Hobart and final approval was granted by the Tasmanian Planning Commission in early 2018, after an eight-month assessment period across both Council and the Commission.

The warehouse conversion is well underway and is due to be completed in mid 2020.