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Melbourne's 200 metre club bursting at the seams

If one statistic brings into focus Melbourne's current development boom, it's this one; since Rialto's completion heralding Melbourne's first 200 metre plus tower in 1986, a total of six towers beyond 200 metres (not including antennas) have been built in the proceeding 28 years.

Melbourne right now has 23 towers beyond 200 metres ranging from proposed to under construction.

It's a gobsmacking figure representative of a perfect storm of circumstances both locally and abroad which based upon the evidence at hand will see the vast majority of these proposals delivered, rather than land banked or onsold. Counted within the ranks of the 23 listed below are four towers of 300 metres or greater, propelling Melbourne in the the ranks of other global cities with 'Supertall' towers.

The 200 metre plus tower list as of August 2014

Address Height Developer Architect Status Apartments
568 Collins Street 218m Stamoulis Property Group Bruce Henderson Under Construction 588
Prima Pearl - 31 Queensbridge Street 254m PDG Corporation Disegno Australia Under Construction 667
Vision - 500 Elizabeth Street 226m Brady Group Peddle Thorp Under Construction 524
Tower Melbourne - 150 Queen Street 226m CEL Australia Elenberg Fraser Delayed 581
Victoria One - 452 Elizabeth Street 241m Golden Age Elenberg Fraser Sales 622
Light House - 450 Elizabeth Street 218m Hengyi - Sixth Grange Elenberg Fraser Sales 607
EQ Tower - 127 A'Beckett Street 202m ICD Property Elenberg Fraser Sales 632
Elysium - 54 Clarke Street 244m Baracon BKK Architects Registrations 270
272 Queen Street 210m Site for sale Peddle Thorp Approved 624
70 Southbank Boulevard 319m Aspial WCL Fender Katsalidis Approved 1105
250 Spencer Street T1 295-300m Far East Consortium Cottee Parker Approved envelope 750
250 Spencer Street T2 235-240m Far East Consortium Cottee Parker Approved envelope 805
250 Spencer Street T3 205-210m Far East Consortium Cottee Parker Approved envelope 520
250 Spencer Street T4 225-230m Far East Consortium Cottee Parker Approved envelope 788
380 Lonsdale Street 217m Hiap Hoe Elenberg Fraser Planning 728
1 Queensbridge Street 308m Schiavello - Crown Bates Smart Planning 626
334-344 City Road 270m Private Hayball Planning 578
25-35 Power Street 274m ML Hospitality Metier 3 Planning 496
156-172 Victoria Street 237m CEL Australia Elenberg Fraser Planning 1037
97 Franklin Street 216m Artemis Group Hassell Studio Planning 367
180 Russell Street 271m AXF Australia Bunchan Group Planning 506
224-252 La Trobe Street 267m UEM Sunrise Eleneberg Fraser Planning 1139
54-64 A'Beckett Street 253m Aspial WCL Elenberg Fraser Planning 750
447 Collins Street 300m CBUS Property Woods Bagot + SHoP Proposed 400

All projects above include a residential component, with no purely commercial towers included. On that front QIC's 80 Collins Street comes closest with an overall height of 187 metres.

Given there are always minor fluctuations in apartment numbers per project, the above list would pump in the vicinity of 15,700 apartments or near on 30,000 permanent residents into the City of Melbourne. Factor in the thousands of hotel suites which are included within 10 of the 23 proposals and the transient population figure also rises sharply.

One image says it all

Below is a marketing image for ICD Property's EQ Tower located at 127 A'Beckett Street. If the opening Rialto statistic brings the matter into focus, the below image provides a visual aid as to the rapidly evolving nature of Melbourne's skyline.

In addition to EQ Tower, no less that 14 other towers of 200 metres or more would be visible in some way, excluding those already completed. A healthy number of these towers are located within the CBD's northern reaches surrounding EQ Tower; testament to the sudden explosion of apartments loosely surrounding Victoria Market.

One of many. Image courtesy eqtower.com.au

Future towers on the radar

Listed on Melbourne-based Altus Development's website is a forthcoming scheme fo A'Beckett Street. With an expected value of $395 million, the proposal will hold a nominal 1125 apartments and hotel suites.

On the high ground of Melbourne’s CBD and close to its famed premier universities, hospitals, parks and cosmopolitan nightlife of the city’s northern precinct will rise a magnificent tower. Comprising 900 residential apartments, a 4-star hotel and dining this development represents unparalleled growth opportunities. Central to key Melbourne destinations and exceptionally well-served by public transport and arterials, it is a foremost opportunity.

Altus Development: Melbourne Developments
Concept snippet for A'Beckett Street Melbourne CBD. Image © Altus Development

Elsewhere Fragrance Group's 555 Collins Street has been reported as seeking a height of 305 metres AHD in an all-commercial development, although this will be confirmed when the relevant planning application is submitted. The good oil also suggests that Fragrance Group's Savoy Tavern site on Spencer Street and PJ Development Holdings' Kavanagh car park site on Southbank will also (very) comfortably exceed the 200 metre barrier.

Of course there are also those projects which arise unbeknown to the greater public, but for the immediate future it seems likely the number of 200 metre plus proposals will slow as developers seek to materialise the many projects listed above.

5 comments

Purple Dawn's picture

Love these feel-good articles. The next 10-20 years, if handled correctly, should be amazing.

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Sar's picture

Where are the balconies? Most of these developments dont have balconies, the rooms are far too small to create any long term or aspiration living environment and why do these towers look like office buildings? Whats wrong with making an apartment tower that looks like an apartment tower, with big balconies projecting from the facade? Look at Harry Seidlers body of work, beautifully sculptured towers where the architecture is in the curvalinear balconies, not this wintergarden crap architects are now spruiking as an acceptable version of a balcony, which really is just a fish bowl eating up precious space within one's apartment. And since when did the developer and architect dictate the type of apartment Melburnian's want to live in? Oh wait, they dont. Like many before these are designed small and sold off the plan in Singapore and Malaysia, once again attributing to the fact that these architects and developers dont really care about what world they are creating as long as the easy $$$ keep rolling in

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

I didn't know that Blues Point Tower had balconies.

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Alastair Taylor's picture
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Mark Baljak's picture

make that 24 for Melbourne with 63 Exhibition Street at 67 levels submitted this week

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