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The transformation of South Yarra's back blocks continues

South Yarra's Chapel Street - the area generally bound by Chapel, Simmons, Palfreyman and Garden, South Yarra's back blocks in the sense that the area in question plays second fiddle to the more prestigious developments within South Yarra's Forrest Hill precinct - is experiencing a development renaissance of its own.

Historically a low-rise commercial and light industrial pocket of South Yarra, the area has seen constant apartment development over the past 5-6 years owing the the small yet numerous plots which have over time become more appealing as low to medium-rise buildings.

The past 18 months has seen four apartment developments completed, namely SPEC Property Group's WLSN South Yarra, Pure Apartments, Mode Apartments with 38 apartments over eight levels and Kudos Apartments.

Recent completions

The rapid rate of change continues with three additional builds set to pump 297 apartments into the area. After a delay in excess of three years, Hutchinson Builders are well into construction of Echo, while Wil & Co. and Essence are at basement level works on either side of Wilson Street.

Adding to the queue are W South Yarra and Noir, ranking among the largest projects in the area since Hamton's 242-apartment Society South Yarra complex was completed on Bray Street during 2010. Noir also represents the first project backed by a mainland Chinese developer in the area, with Shanghai-based Dahua Group acting as developer.

In this precinct, Urban Melbourne have identified in excess of 700 apartments either completed or currently under construction, spread over 11 separate developments.

Projects under construction

Looking ahead, three significant planning applications for the area are currently with Stonnington City Council.

49 Garden Street would see only 17 apartments over a ten level building, with the scheme for the narrow 228sqm block conceived by ADDARC. Garden Street Investments Pty Ltd are the proponent, seeking one and two bedroom apartments as large at 85sqm within the project. 14-16 Wilson Street has been resubmitted for approval and features 24 apartments within a wave-like facade conceived by SAC Building Workshop.

Last but by no means least is the revised scheme by Plus Architecture for 402-416 Chapel Street. First highlighted by Urban Melbourne during March, the reworked application of behalf of Spotlight Development Group seeks to add a new hotel to South Yarra with 174 suites included within the expected redevelopment of what is now Chapel Plaza.

Also slated for the project are 87 townhouses, one and two bedrooms dwellings plus 2126sqm of retail and 965sqm of commercial space over the lower levels. 402-416 Chapel Street's fate is in VCAT's hands with the body to make a call on the scheme at a scheduled hearing next month.

Pending additions to the streetscape. Images courtesy Plus & SACBW
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