Launceston developer Errol Stewart and ARTAS architects principal Scott Curran will unveil their plans for the notorious C.H. Smith site on Monday, but they are not the first to attempt a redevelopment.
In 1977 the C. H. Smith and Co. marine chandlery headquarters moved to Melbourne and the building was added to the Launceston City Council heritage list.
The Charles Street site was bought in 1988 by Frank Larissey of Redline Coaches, and demolition began in 1990 but the work was quickly halted by protesters.
Over the next ten years a number of Redline bus depot plans were put forward to the City of Launceston, but redevelopments were stalled due to Supreme Court orders and Planning Appeals Board decisions made in an attempt to save the historic buildings.
In 2004 plans for an $100 million development were revealed by Launceston developer Serge de Kantzow who had purchased the site.
The design include a skybridge suspended from a 60 metre pylon linking the site to the Old Seaport, apartments, a hotel, shops, art gallery and extensive public space.
The planning application was approved, and given a two year extension, but in 2007 the site was again for sale. It was bought by Citimark Properties, a Queensland-based private company, but five years later it changed hands again, purchased by Geelong-based firm Brile Property Group.
Developer Peter Velt proposed a $30 million two-level retail and commercial complex, but the project continued to stall.
Mr Stewart and Mr Curran announced their purchase of the site on November 11.