READY TO RESTORE: Workers removing wooden boards from the Plumbs Chambers building on Grafton St last week.
READY TO RESTORE: Workers removing wooden boards from the Plumbs Chambers building on Grafton St last week. Jayden Brown

Plumbs demolition rumour quashed

ROSE City Shoppingworld owners the McConaghy Group have moved to scuttle rumours that the remaining half of Plumbs Chambers is likely to be demolished.

In the wake of the demolition of the former brick and timber Plumbs building at 82 Fitzroy St a fortnight ago there has been talk that its sandstone neighbour at 84 Fitzroy St might be beyond salvaging.

This has been despite public commitments from the McConaghy Group it will be retained and restored and incorporated into a planned $40 million expansion of Rose City.

The Daily News was told a demolition contractor had advised that the roof of 84 Fitzroy St would be taken off and if the internal structure was too far gone the whole building would go.

But a spokesman for the McConaghy was yesterday again adamant the building will be faithfully restored.

He did confirm any rotting timber would be removed and this has already been done on the verandah.

"The restoration has commenced, with those timbers which are rotten beyond salvage being removed," he said.

"One of the early challenges will be to make the roof watertight to halt further decay.

"The gantry along Haig Ave is to prevent the stone wall from collapsing - a new footing will be installed underneath the wall, which will in part require rebuilding stone by stone.

"The other three stone walls can be restored without dismantling."

The spokesman said more than 20 different trades will be required to restore Plumbs Chambers.

"We are well advanced in our tender discussions with both local contractors and some further afield where necessary," he said.

"We are still open to expressions of interest in the tenancy.

"It would ideally suit an office and would be an ideal outlook with a balcony overlooking Leslie Park."

The spokesman also confirmed the Westpac building would "eventually" be demolished to make way for the new mall entry to the Rose City centre.

The building is one of few within the Rose City expansion area not owned by the McConaghy Group, being instead owned locally.

A Westpac spokeswoman confirmed they would move into the new centre if the expansion is approved by council, and would set up a temporary branch if necessary during the construction phase.



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