The preservation of certain suburbs, areas, precincts and individual properties of heritage is important to ensure their continued existence for present and future generations. 

However, the present and future generations also demand increased development, with the need for more residential and commercial spaces, upgraded technologies and use of the latest, safest building methods.

Heritage-listed properties form a very small part of the overall property market, but the cost to conserve and restore these properties can be high. As a property developer, Norm Carey can see the long term benefits of heritage property and the social and economic benefits in restoring and reusing them. When possible, it is advantageous to both the community and the end clients to develop in a way that preserves the best of the building, while giving it new life.

Norm has utilised this approach for a number of developments, including Scots Church Portico in Sydney, and his iconic Port Melbourne development.

Portico, Scots Church by Norm Carey involved the redevelopment of a disused, heritage-listed church in Sydney’s CBD. The project required high-value residential apartments and a commercial unit, which were intelligently designed by the architects at Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and added to the original church structure to preserve its heritage listing and iconic status in the local community.

Portico Sydney Construction

Find out more about the Portico project, click here.


By retaining and restoring the stratum containing the original church auditorium, along with the existing steel, stone and concrete structure, Norm Carey was able to create a beautiful and iconic apartment development. And, despite the controversy converting a disused church into apartments caused, it has brought new life to a dormant property, increasing the limited supply of available housing options in such a key location – right in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. 

Part of Norm’s large-scale Port Melbourne development involved the restoration of the Bank and Heritage Apartments, an 1874 bank building located at Bay Street and an 1864 heritage blue-stone warehouse on Dow Street.

Bank Apartments Port Melbourne Heritage Apartments Port Melbourne

In converting the two heritage-listed buildings into up-market, boutique apartment complexes, they were able to retain the existing facades, refurbishing them to suit the need for stylish housing in this in-demand area, while preserving the charm and character of the facades. 

Instead of remaining disused and falling into disrepair, these apartments are now modernised, refurbished and successfully occupied by local young professionals. Today, Port Melbourne is a thriving community.

When you preserve the original features of a property, you increase its value, both as an iconic part of the community, and a successful development and investment opportunity – with heritage features often increasing the actual and perceived value of a property; especially when combined with a premium location.