Cherished ‘Radio Shack’ at Dock One, Port Adelaide saved at eleventh hour 

Starfish Developments stepped forward to save an old building valued by locals on its Dock One redevelopment site at Port Adelaide, just 24 hours before dismantling work was due to start.

The Radio Shack, which was built in 1925, was due to be moved to an alternative site. It had previously been utilized as a Customs clearing office and more recently temporarily refitted as a community meeting space adjacent the community garden.

Early State Government consultation had indicated strong community interest in retaining the structure in its original position, as many saw it as part of the area’s heritage and history.

Damon Nagel, managing director of Starfish Developments said, “We’re pleased to have found a way to keep the old Radio Shack. It’s important to revitalise character buildings where possible, especially ones that have meaning to local residents. The hut provides an important link to the past, with its evolving use over time reflecting the Port’s social history and architectural character.”

The Port Adelaide Branch of the National Trust SA identified that the Radio Shack, with its square shape, columns and verandas, is the only building of its type in Port Adelaide, classifying it under the banner of Maritime Heritage. The group included it in walking tours as part of History SA Week.

Pat Netschitowsky, Chairperson of the Port of Adelaide Branch of the National Trust said, “I’m delighted to learn that the iconic and last remaining Customs Clearing Office in Port Adelaide (aka the Radio Shack) will remain in its current location on the corner of Divett & Todd Streets.  We have been advocating for its retention for a number of years and feel sure that the broader Port Adelaide community and locals alike will be very pleased.”

Starfish intends to utilise the shed as its Sales Centre once construction gets underway at Dock One, with a view to leasing it out thereafter.

The Radio Shack is the second building that Starfish Developments has salvaged at the Dock One site. The first, the DMH building, is earmarked to be repurposed as an apartment building. Plans include covering it in plants and hosting a ground floor local artisan provedore restaurant and bar which will be integrated with the relocated community garden.  

Site preparation works for Dock One are expected to commence in the latter part of 2017 and include demolition and ground preparation.