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Just another week in Melbourne

Blink and you'll miss the near daily evolving landscape of Melbourne's apartment sector as the current wave of apartment projects continues to intensify. This week alone news regarding a handful of marquee projects has surfaced through a variety of media outlets, as each project in their own way strives to redefine the norm.

11-13 Hancock Street, Southbank opens proceedings as news has surfaced that the tower based on a miniscule site has won VCAT approval. Developer Branson Group has the tower listed on their website as an upcoming project, looking to upscale massively upon their previous projects while also capitalising upon current market conditions.

At 33 level and 103 metres in height the building is only 8.13m wide and holds an area of 168 square metres, making it comparable to another super thin tower - Phoenix located on Flinders Street.

Our signature city tower with all the difference… This amazing bronze glass apartment tower will feature sky gardens every 5th floor, for year round entertaining

Branson Group
11-13 Hancock Street, Southbank. Image courtesy Branson Group

With thin towers in vogue, The Age yesterday reported that Equiset have applied to increase by six levels their 464 Collins Street development. Dubbed the 'Pencil Skyscraper,' the 54 level had attained planning approval at 181 metres, with a site width of 11 metres ensuring the slender tower to be like no other.

The addition of six levels would likely take the project past the 200 metres in height, thus adding another member into Melbourne's 200 Metre Club. Elsewhere City of Melbourne have a planning application listed for 134-160 Spencer Street, aka Melbourne's long-suffering bombsite the Savoy Tavern.

Seen below is an image prior to an evidently temporarily refurbished Savoy along with an unrealised mixed-use scheme by F2 Architecture which would have included a W Hotel. Under the new ownership of Singaporean firm Fragrance Group, a mixed-use tower (including hotel component) will replace the brick facade and it's suggested that the tower will reach RL296 metres, or 280 metres+ above ground.

Savoy becomes member number 25 to the 200 Metre Club of current Melbourne towers.

The site ands former proposal. Images courtesy Ben McGee and F2 Architecture

CBD News reported this week that City of Melbourne are ready to support CBUS's 300 metre tower as a viable replacement for the dilapidated 447 Collins Street. As a choice of two schemes, the taller 300 metre concept has generated debate as it would overshadow Southbank temporarily during certain days of the year.

While final approval lies with State Government, City of Melbourne's apparent willingness to accept height in return for a large Collins Street civic space looks to have removed a potentially rather large and public stumbling block.

Is this the way forward for 447 Collins Street? Image courtesy Woods Bagot

Finally testament to the current inner city apartment surge, City of Melbourne Councillor Richard Foster announced last night via Twitter that no less than 2,585 new apartments in Melbourne being considered by the Future Melbourne Committee in merely one of their two monthly meetings. Under consideration last night were the revamped 85 Spring Street proposal, 380 Lonsdale Street, 1 Shiel Street North Melbourne and 224-252 La Trobe Street.

And the juggernaut rolls on!

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Development & Planning

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 12:00
Brunswick's Anstey Precinct is in for a massive shot of development as Melbourne's Nightingale Housing plans seven separate buildings in a project that will be dubbed Nightingale Village. Already accustomed to urban renewal, the area surrounding Anstey Station is set to benefit from the unprecedented move by Nightingale Housing to develop what amounts to an entire street.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

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Transport & Design

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 00:00
Spring Street has released details of a large shutdown of the Pakenham/Cranbourne and Frankston lines which will allow workers to complete major upgrades to the rail infrastructure. The work is required to allow for the introduction of the new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMTs) and will involve upgrading power & catenary, signalling and communications equipment in the Dandenong (Pakenham/Cranbourne) corridor.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.