A COMMUNITY group formed to save the Mentone Hotel from a redevelopment remains hopeful a new pub can be opened on the ground floor of the iconic building.
Save The Edgy representatives met with the Mentone Hotel’s new owner Paul Huggins last Wednesday (15 July) to discuss the planning application lodged with Kingston Council to build five apartments on the ground floor and seven on the first floor of the building (‘Edgy plans on the menu’, The News 15/7/15).
An apartment block with 58 apartments will be built on the site of The Edgy’s carpark, according to the planning application.
Save The Edgy spokesman Chris Hill said Mr Huggins, founder of Momentum Developments, is still trying to find a suitable candidate to run a pub on the full 800 square metres ground floor.
“He reaffirmed his commitment to find a tenant to take the whole floor downstairs even though the plans are drawn with a 240 square metre restaurant and cafe,” he said.
“We just want to make sure that it’s fair and reasonable and all solid offers will be considered [to fill the whole ground floor].”
Kingston mayor Cr Geoff Gledhill attended last week’s meeting between Mr Huggins and the Save The Edgy group.
“Council’s position is to look at it from a planning point of view and we have to observe the process,” he said.
Council officers will review the application but Heritage Victoria will “take the lead” since the main building façade and an internal staircase have been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.
“We’ve a fabulous opportunity here to have a terrific outcome and everybody can get a good share of what they want but let’s go into it with an open mind and be prepared to listen to other people’s positions,” Cr Gledhill said.
Mr Huggins says he will remove the five ground floor apartments from the redevelopment plan if a suitable pub manager can be found.