Plans approved for Jewish Arts Quarter in Elsternwick

Plans approved for Jewish Arts Quarter in Elsternwick

An artist’s impression of the new Jewish Arts Quarter in Elsternwick. Image credit: Mclldowie Partners.

A major development for a cultural arts hub within Elsternwick Village precinct has been given the go-ahead, with the project gaining planning approval.

The cultural hub, known as the Jewish Arts Quarter, will be located at 7 Selwyn St, Elsternwick. It will include exhibition spaces, performing arts spaces, and co-working offices for not-for-profits celebrating and promoting the diverse and thriving Jewish culture in Australia.

The hub will provide a new home for the Jewish Holocaust Centre, which will be redeveloped into a larger centre to accommodate a growing number of visitors each year.

The Jewish Arts Quarter development in Elsternwick will be supported by a $3.5 million contribution from the Victorian Government as part of a $21 million package to support infrastructure upgrades for multicultural communities and provide economic stimulus to the Victorian community.

The Jewish Arts Quarter was fast-tracked on the recommendation of the government’s Development Facilitation Program to stimulate Victoria’s economy.

The precinct is expected to generate $65 million in investment during construction and create 210 construction jobs and 31 ongoing jobs.

Evan Crabtree, president of the Elsternwick Mainstreet Committee, said the development of the Jewish Arts Quarter would be a huge benefit for the Elsternwick Village precinct.

“Not only will this project be an incredible way to acknowledge the rich Jewish history that Elsternwick is renowned for, it will also be a valuable and vibrant addition to our diverse shopping and business precinct,” he said.

In an interview with Elsternwick Village when initial plans were unveiled last year, Barry Fradkin OAM, president of the Jewish Museum of Australia: Gandel Centre of Judaica, said the hub will “enrich our community and visitors keen for a taste of Jewish life”.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne accepted the findings of the Independent Priority Projects Standing Advisory Committee that a planning permit be issued.

“Projects like the Jewish Arts Quarter have immediate economic impacts as well as long-term cultural benefits for all Victorians,” Mr Wynne said.

“We’re ensuring we have a steady pipeline of projects to create good, secure jobs and keep investment coming as we plan the roadmap to our recovery.”

The independent standing committee heard from the local community, the local council, and gave notice to nearby owners and occupiers before making their recommendation to approve the permit.

The construction will also protect the historic Karl Duldig artwork from the existing building, including stained glass windows and ‘The Great Awakening’ – one of Duldig’s last iconic glazed ceramic bas relief murals and in his own words “the physical and spiritual representation of man, earthbound aspiring towards the infinite”.

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