Residents around Wollongong Harbour have collected more than 1000 signatures in their effort to save a 1930s unit block from demolition.
Smith Street resident Jane Robertson said she had been alarmed to see a proposal to build a "looming" apartment block at the corner of Smith and Harbour Streets.
Wollongong council is considering plans to knock down Marlene Court, an inter-war two-level apartment building, and build an "exclusive boutique" eight-storey complex, which will include a three-level penthouse.
Worth about $6 million, the building would also have a two-level basement if approved, requiring extensive excavation of the block.
The development is located within one of Wollongong's most important heritage precincts, where early European occupation of the area began.
Ms Robertson said she and other residents, who have made t-shirts and signs for their campaign, had collected more than 1000 signatures on paper in support of their concerns.
We believe this building will be a blight, looming over the street in the highly-prized heritage precinct.Jane Robertson, resident
"We believe this building will be a blight, looming over the street in the highly-prized heritage precinct," she said.
She said the "heritage corridor" between Belmore Basin and Market Square should a low-rise area.
"We think it would be more appropriate if the new building was kept to a maximum of 16 metres, or three-storeys, and had gardens and a bit more of a setback like other tall buildings in the area," she said. "It should stay low-rise and green for the visual amenity of walking and strolling around this heritage precinct."
"Or what would be perfect, is if Marlene Court got to stay as a rare example of this period building in Wollongong."
She noted the council had just approved a new heritage strategy, committing to better protect the city's history.
Developers have acknowledged the significant heritage surrounding and under Marlene Court, but not the merits of the building itself.
In an archaeological assessment included with the plans, they said the site has the potential to contain remains associated with Charles Throsby's stockman's hut and associated stockyard.
Feedback on the proposal has closed, however projects with significant objections are considered through the council's Wollongong Local Planning Panel.