Former Pink Palace brothel’s stunning future unveiled

The former Pink Palace brothel in South Melbourne.
The former Pink Palace brothel in South Melbourne.

A former South Melbourne brothel is looking for love as a luxury new apartment tower.

And while it’s put a sordid past behind it, the property will still embrace familiar tenets of privacy and discretion, giving every resident their own private lift lobby for their apartment on their floor in what is believed to be a Melbourne first.

Buyers splashing between $1.45-$4.5 million on an apartment in The Eighth development by Crema Group will also be able to enjoy “experience showers” capable of recreating a tropical monsoon and a rooftop pool and bar inspired by the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles.

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It’s a surreal turnaround for the development that was home to the Pink Palace brothel for a number of decades.

The Eighth development by Crema Properties will replace former South Melbourne brothel the Pink Palace.

Crema Group development boss Nicolas Crema says they aren’t shying away from the property’s past, but most people who have visited so far haven’t even commented on the pink staircase leading up to the development’s display level.

Instead, prospective buyers were focused on things like having a “robot valet” that will use a German car lift to park cars, and access to a wellness centre in the building boasting hydrotherapy, aromatherapy and beauty treatments, where the “experience showers” will be.

“The people living here are going to be time poor and will want things at their fingertips,” Crema says.

Inside the former Pink Palace brothel. Picture: Derek Swalwell.

Many features have been based on boutique hotels in New York or private clubs in the UK.

Architect Peter Kennon, formerly with Ellenberg Fraser and now running Kennon.Studio, says the 18-storey, 35-apartment development at 8 Palmerston Cres is bringing Melbourne into line with what high-end buyers expect in major cities around the world.

“Melbourne is growing and becoming a world-class city, we are adopting new world-class living trends that have been in global metropolises for a long time,” Kennon says.

Eighth South Melbourne

The facade of the proposed new development in South Melbourne.

A modernist style had been given a contemporary twist, with concrete pillars around the building also an aesthetic feature inside the apartments.

Interiors styled by Mim Design showcase oak floors, Italian marble and polished plaster.

The development has sold five apartments so far, including to a buyer who asked to combine a pair of apartments to take up half of the building’s eighth floor. Many of the buyers are already living in apartments, either along nearby St Kilda Rd or on Spring St in Melbourne’s CBD, or are returning to Australia from living abroad.

In addition to the list of features, the development’s location on the city’s fringe, a short stroll from the future Anzac train station, will make it part of a precinct set to change the area.

This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “Former South Melbourne brothel turned apartment tower to go from vice to nice”.