Tall stories and big Little Projects on Lorimer Street

What's in a tower, or two? Last Friday Little Projects received planning approval for a twin tower scheme nestled in behind Yarra's Edge, that the developer believes will act as an entrance point to Lorimer Precinct within Fishermans Bend. Initially submitted as a 74 level tower with provisions for public space and a tram line through the site, the scheme was subsequently scaled downwards resulting in two towers of 47 and 49 storeys.

85-93 Lorimer Street will see the delivery of 940 apartments, marginally more than was sought within the initial scheme. Lower levels within the approved Elenberg Fraser-designed complex will house 778 car parks and 400 bicycle bays, retail spaces and a gym - all within a podium heavy with exterior greenery.

2,100 square metres has been designated onsite as a public park, naturally garnering strong support from both the State Government and City of Melbourne.

Valued at $200 million, 85-93 Lorimer Street is the latest apartment scheme approval for Fishermans Bend, which according to the State Government brings the total value of inner-city developments approved by the Andrews Labor Government to over $3 billion. Under Planning Minister Richard Wynne's tenure in excess of 3,300 apartments within Fishermans Bend have gained approval, equating to in excess of $800 million worth of investment.

The approved 85-93 Lorimer Street. Image courtesy Little Projects

What they say

This development reflects our vision for the future of Fishermans Bend, offering open space and well-designed apartments close to transport and services.

We encourage innovative developers to put forward projects which we can be proud of decades after construction.

Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning

​The re-submission of our plans for the South Wharf site has given us the ability to design a development that will contribute to Melbourne’s dynamic skyline.

We’ve identified South Wharf as a key area with potential for growth, as it is evident that Melbournians enjoy living on the fringe of the CBD, with immediate access to the best cultural and lifestyle precincts, including Melbourne’s new financial district, which is only 1km away. Through this project, and its thoughtful design considerations, the team at Elenberg Fraser and Little Projects has a unique opportunity and responsibility to shape and elevate the liveability of this city for future generations.

The oval-shaped towers maximise the amount of natural light entering the apartments’ interiors and bring spectacular bay and city views inside.

Michael Fox, Managing Director, Little Projects


The original Lorimer Street proposal. Image courtesy Elenberg Fraser

In a broader sense the aversion to height within certain pockets of Fishermans Bend by the current State Government is something which serves no great purpose in my eyes. There are limited and appropriate areas such as Lorimer Precinct where height limits shouldn't apply.

The blanket 40 level height limit over areas of Fishermans Bend if sustained over the long term will result in a rather contrived outcome where every building will essentially be built to 120 metres; it's a matter of aesthetics more than anything but a forest of towers all terminating at the same height lacks an organic feel or natural progression that the CBD for instance maintains.

Site specific now, and I can't see why two towers over one taller tower has been lauded as a "refined" or superior outcome. The original plan for a 74 level building sparked concerns from surrounding residents, why? 85-93 Lorimer Street is located to the south of Yarra's Edge and therefore holds no overshadowing concerns. Whether a tower is 49, 74 or 100 levels is effectively irrelevant, but apparently the taller the tower, the higher the Yarra's Edge residents insecurities seem to sprout.

In fact the only consequence I can see of having two towers as opposed to one is that more future residents of 85-93 Lorimer Street will have direct lines of sight into existing apartments within Yarra's Edge, go figure…


Reddie's picture

The 'aversion to height' by the current state govt serves only 1 purpose, political opportunism.

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Carlo Zeccola's picture

Better than "personal opportunism" we got from the previous planning minister.

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Jay W's picture

Look no further than the recent Hayball design 6-tower application on Normanby Road in Fishermans Bend for why prescribed height-caps result in poor monotonous design outcomes.

No variety, no variation in skyline - just six towers pancaked at 40.

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johnproctor's picture

but this development isn't 40 stories. its 47 and 49. these will be up against the 25-30ish level Yarra's Edge towers...

there are two on Johnson Street at 51 levels, (and two at 27 and 29)

buckhurst street - 30, 30, 30 levels, gladstone, 25,29,26, 30, 199 Normanby 40 levels,

so that is 14 towers approved in Fish Bend (off my quick search on this website) ranging from 25 to 51 levels. with an average of 35 levels, a median of 30, 4 above 40 levels, 1 at 40 levels and 9 below 40 levels.

yes it is likely that over time there will be a preponderance of 40 story applications but as it stands there will be at least 4 buildings that will punctuate the limit by between 30 and 50 metres.

Worth remembering that for the first 10 years of southbank most buildings reached about 30 storeys and no higher. With the market proven and the hysteria of height in the location dying down along with some high quality proposals worth changing the rules for (Eureka and Freshwater) the height barrier was broken down.

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