CH Smith timeline: revival efforts over 20 years

1977: C. H. Smith and Co. marine chandlery headquarters moved to Melbourne. Launceston City Council adds buildings to its heritage list.

1984: National Trust places the Regency-style buildings at 22 and 24 Charles Street on its heritage register.

1988: Frank Larissey, of Redline Coaches, buys C. H. Smith site for new bus terminal.

March, 1990: Redline releases plans of the bus depot development, and Mr Larissey starts demolition of buildings but protesters stop work. The buildings are covered with tarpaulins after the Supreme Court orders that the demolished roofs be restored.

May, 1990: The council does not enforce a Supreme Court injunction to protect the C. H. Smith buildings and votes 8-3 to approve the demolition of the buildings. The action comes three days before the buildings are to be listed on the register of the National Estate.

September, 1990: Planning Appeals Board decides that the Regency-style warehouse should not be demolished.

March, 1995: Redline reaches agreement with the National Trust on a development that saves the 150-year-old heritage buildings at 22 and 24 Charles Street and demolition work starts several months later on the site’s sheds and parts of the Charles Street building.

September, 1996: Launceston City Council approves a $3.5 million Redline Coaches depot.

December, 2003: Michael Larissey turns the site into a private car park and claims that it is making money for the first time since he bought it.

April, 2004: Plans for an $126 million development of the C. H. Smith site unveiled by Launceston developer Serge de Kantzow who buys the site. Planning approval is gained a year later.

April, 2007: Launceston City Council grants Mr de Kantzow a two-year extension to his development application for the now $135 million C.H. Smith project.

July, 2007: Mr de Kantzow advertises C. H. Smith site nationally with an estimated $7 million price tag. It is sold within a month to Citimark Properties.

September, 2009: Building approval on the C. H. Smith site lapses.

February, 2010: The C. H. Smith site is permanently listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register. Citimark still owns the site but has done nothing to it in three years.

July, 2011: Citimark director Angus Johnson confirms that his company has sold the site to Geelong-based firm Brile, to be finalised in September. Brile proposes a $30 million two-level retail and commercial complex; a significantly smaller version of the four-storey or five-storey development touted in April.

August, 2012: The first stage of demolition works starts on the C. H. Smith site. The second stage starts in December, removing the old C.H. Smith Marine building. The historic Charles Street and Canal Street facades are retained.

November, 2012: JB Hi-Fi confirms itself as one of the major tenants in the 1200-square-metre complex.

March, 2012: A required archaeological dig is completed, revealing a mix of industrial and commercial uses on the site, including breweries, warehouses and houses. Some archaeological finds date back to before 1837.

November, 2013: JB Hi-Fi confi rms that it is looking at alternative Launceston locations

September 2014: Brile lodge a development application to demolish the old ‘cordial factory’ at the C.H. Smith site has been lodged with the Launceston City Council.

October 2014: Tasmanian Heritage Council do not approve the demolition of the ‘old cordial factory’

December 2014: Developers Brile submit a new development application to the Launceston City Council to subdivide the land with the factory they could not demolish.

May 2015: Brile put forward another development application for a $16 million, two-stage, two-storey development with restaurants,a cafe, retail and bulky goods store space, a child care centre and parking,and  a subdivision to remove the old cordial factory from the site and greater restorative works on the Charles Street facades.

June 2015: Launceston City Council approved the development application with an amendment that heritage works must be undertaken before any new retail complex opens.

August 2016: Brile said plans were still in place to develop CH Smith, after renewed public calls to demolish the buildings after a small fire.

November 2016: Launceston businessman Errol Stewart and architect Scott Curran announce purchase of the property.

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