The flow of development to Melbourne CBD's East End began as a trickle relative to surrounding inner city precincts, but the 'Paris End' of late has come into its own. 'Paris End' of course is an ill-fitting moniker (some would also say crass) with current development within the CBD's eastern flank well spread, as opposed to being centralised around Collins Street's historic grandeur.
Bound by Flinders, Elizabeth, Spring and Victoria, Urban Melbourne's Project Database shows a mass of East End developments looking to make their mark. Historically the domain of commercial development, East End was bereft of residential projects as developers favoured proven areas such as Southbank and Docklands, although this trend his has now changed sharply!
Spurred on in part by the phenomenal influx of Asian-based property entities, East End proposals have steadily increased over the last two years as the insatiable push to secure prized sites in the current market shows no signs of slowing; an arms race of property development for lack of a better analogy.
Below is a summary of East End residential projects currently found within the Urban Melbourne Project Database. Given the ever dynamic nature of development and planning at the moment, these may require refreshing in a few weeks time. Regardless, this is the current state of play concerning residential projects within East End.
|398 Elizabeth Street||474||Mammoth Empire||55||Registration & Sales|
|318 Russell Street||433||PDG & Schiavello||57||Construction|
|276 Russell Street||154||Unknown||36||Approved|
|500 Elizabeth Street||524||Brady Group||72||Construction|
|309 Bourke Street||466||Unknown||>10||Approved|
|35 Spring Street||270||CBUS||43||Construction|
|97 Franklin Street||367||Artemis Group||62||Planning|
|63 Exhibition Street||328||Asia One||67||Planning|
|36 La Trobe Street||224||Unknown||39||Registration & Sales|
|137 Bourke Street||104||VIMG||19||Registration & Sales|
|85 Spring Street||303||Grocon||46||Planning|
|54 A'Beckett Street||750||Aspial - WCL||81||Planning|
|224 La Trobe Street||1,206||UEM Sunrise||88||Planning|
|452 Elizabeth Street||622||Golden Age||75||Registration & Sales|
|9 Exploration Lane||89||Balfour||33||Approved|
|180 Russell Street||506||AXF Group||70||Planning|
|48 A'Beckett Street||235||Austwin||45||Approved|
|22 Bennetts Lane||25||Unknown||12||Approved|
|450 Elizabeth Street||607||Hengyi||69||Registration & Sales|
There are 19 projects are listed above, six of which are at planning assessment. These six have a total unit count similar to that of the remaining 13 in the list. 3,490 apartments are at planning, with the largest project being UEM Sunrise's 224 La Trobe Street carrying 1,206 dwellings, followed by 54 A'Beckett Street with 750.
A total of 4,247 apartments are counted within the remaining 13 projects which have either been approved or are at registration and sales. 1,227 units are under construction. Those apartments under construction represent 16% of the total 7,737 apartments slated for East End according to the Urban Melbourne Project Database, hinting that East End is heading toward a development surge the likes of which have not been seen before within the precinct.
82 Collins Street and the forthcoming Telstra building adjacent to their current Exhibition Street headquarters headline the large commercial projects slated for East End, adding in the vicinity of a combined 150,000sqm of premium office space. Commercial space aside, the surge of hotel suites is something to behold.
In part dragged along by a raft of mixed-use, high-rise proposals, the number of expected hotel suites for East End is robust, even with the scrapping of the Rosati hotel proposal mid 2014.
The current batch of intended hotel locations includes 150 Flinders Street, 97 Franklin Street, 180 Russell Street, 63 Exhibition Street, Windsor Hotel and 80 Collins Street's 19 level, 252-room hotel tower. Yielding roughly 1,200 hotel suites, these six projects may be joined by the nearly complete 146-room Brady Hotels tower at 22-32 Little La Trobe and the proposed yet troubled W Hotel development at 20-30 Bourke Street.
It can be argued that as long as strong overseas sales underpin the local apartment market, then the current upward development trend will continue as developers seek new site acquisitions. A prime case in point sees the recent listing of 168 Exhibition Street by CBRE as offered for sale with a Peddle Thorp development scheme, including a 54 level mixed-use development. 168 Exhibition is symptomatic of the current East End dynamic where bigger is better, but what price for heritage considerations?
The question must be asked: will the influx of many thousands of new residents place too great a burden upon existing infrastructure? Certainly East End has inherent street level qualities and character devoid in areas such as Southbank, and finds itself closer to essential services, amenity and the general 'buzz' of Melbourne. Could existing transport infrastructure be the area most imposed upon by a surging East End population?
A clear positive of Melbourne's East End development surge would be the influx of people, particularly in the commercial dominated areas of Collins & Bourke Street. The resultant surge of residents would serve to activate many after-hour 'dead' spots and encourage new retail/entertainment opportunities to flourish where there were previously none; in effect bolstering and expanding City of Melbourne's 24 Hour City policy into the eastern reaches of the CBD.
If only a crystal ball were handy to assess whether eastern promises would translate into East End realities!
Lead image courtesy Ryan Seychell.