Big plans for Williamstown Rose

Publican Darren Green and musician Jimmy Cupples on the pub's 150th anniversary. Photo: Damjan Janevski

By Goya Dmytryshchak

Detailed plans for the partial demolition of one of Williamstown’s oldest pubs to make way for a four-storey apartment block and wine bar have been released.

As reported by Star Weekly in August, Pantelli Investments has applied to Hobsons Bay council to build 22 dwellings at the Rose of Australia.

A social impact assessment by ARG Planning, submitted on the developer’s behalf, says the two-storey Victorian building is covered by a heritage overlay.

“The building was constructed in 1865 and is the earliest surviving commercial building in Ferguson Street,” the report states. “It dates from an era when Williamstown was the main port of Melbourne.”

The project would retain the hotel building and its roof fronting Ferguson Street.

“Later single-storey additions at the rear of the building will be removed to facilitate the development,” the report states.

“A commercial (wine bar) use is proposed at ground level of the hotel building fronting Furguson Street, with apartments introduced at level 1.”

The application proposes a basement carpark with stacker arrangements to providing 29 residential spaces and two for the wine bar.

The proposed apartments are expected to be priced at $550,000-$700,000 for one bedroom, $500,000-$800,000 for two bedrooms and $900,000-$1.25million for three bedrooms.

The pub was established in 1867 and has a colourful past. One of its most eccentric publicans was New Zealander Denis Irwin, who took over in 1987 and is thought to have been the first to introduce topless barmaids to Williamstown.