MORNINGTON builder L Clarke and Sons has asked Mornington Peninsula Shire for approval to build a two-storey apartment complex on the Mornington Youth and Community Centre site in Wilsons Rd, Mornington.
The project would include 28 apartments, basement car parking, vegetation removal and “associated works”.
Clarke and Sons bought the old youth club hall and land from the shire for $2.1 million at an auction in mid-2014. The council made the decision to sell the property in 2011.
More than 100 people attended the sale but it went ahead under a cloud as residents and neighbours made a last-ditch appeal to the shire, calling for it to retain the building as a public facility.
One resident reportedly said the centre had been a part of the community for decades. Residents had donated money to buy it for community use.
The shire put the money toward its $8.5 million Civic Reserve Recreation Centre expansion, which saw new “homes” for the old hall’s tenant – Mornington Youth Club Gymnastics – as well as Mornington Tennis Club and Mornington Peninsula Table Tennis Association.
Other works at Civic Reserve included two multi-purpose rooms, a fitness studio, kiosk, internal and external socialising areas, new car park, and landscaping and beautification.
The old hall was once the home of Peninsula Post and later a Hickory women’s garment factory established by Bernard Dowd, who owned historic property Craigielea on the corner of the Esplanade and Craigie Rd at Mt Martha. (The house was built in 1863 for the head of Scotch College, Dr Alex Morrison. It was also later owned by Norman Myer of Myer emporium fame, who sold it to Mr Dowd in 1946.) Clarke and Sons director Julie Clarke said it was hoped to start construction at 128-130 Wilsons Rd next February.