The Espy's Renovation Issues Get Resolved With Council
The issue over renovations to St Kilda’s The Esplanade Hotel has been resolved.
This week, Port Phillip Council unanimously approved internal and external renovations to the 138-year old Espy. This includes allowing the 145sqm rooftop terrace on the second floor to go ahead, but on the proviso it closes its retractable roof by 10pm and has no live music.
The Espy closed on May 17 for $500,000 worth of renovations expecting to re-open by now for the summer season. It was to have included the use of current space to create a new kitchen.
The application was not made to Council until August. A further delay was caused by 28 objections from residents to the noise impact of the terrace bar. It was to hold 200 people and open until midnight seven days of the week. At one point there were fears, given these objections, that the closure could be indefinite.
The Espy’s owners repeated their commitment to maintaining the hotel as a live music venue.
Michelle Harrington of St Kilda Live Music Community, who attended the Council meeting, reported, “The entire conversation from the owners, the Council, the planners centred around the live music commitment and the iconic status and how important a healthy Espy is to our whole city and our live music scene.
“The Espy owners have committed over and over to continue live music - three stages - and after hearing them speak at the review and in meeting them personally afterwards I feel this commitment is genuine. There will be changes but I believe as a community we can work through them. This is a happy day for St Kilda Live Music and I think the good news is going to keep rolling in."