Icon Co. snare two unique apartment builds

Icon Co. signage has appeared on two irregular Melbourne developments with the builder pursuing the conversion of two former commercial buildings into high end apartments and an apartment hotel. Conversions of existing structures have historically been a none too common occurrence in Melbourne relative to new build projects.

Developer LAS Group and project partner Qualitas have awarded Icon the $85 million task of converting the former Fawkner Business Centre offices at 499 St Kilda Road into The Fawkner; a parkside apartment development with an end value of $300 million.

Dated 1973, the existing structure will be retained, with all internals and existing facade currently being stripped away.

Early demolition works and the intended result. Image: KPDO

The conversion of the former office building will allow for lofty ceilings and large floorplates with design firm K.P.D.O. responsible for creating more than 60 different apartment layouts over nineteen levels.

An industry leader with 19 years of experience and proven capabilities in commercial and residential construction and development, we believe Icon Co. is best placed to realise the site’s potential and deliver our vision for an unparalleled premium residential offering that showcases the best of apartment living,

Les Smith, Managing Director, LAS Group

This is a significant project for Qualitas, and we needed an experienced contractor who was willing to ‘roll up their sleeves’ to help us unlock the puzzle of the adaptive reuse of the existing building. Icon Co. worked in partnership with us to achieve that outcome, and their recent partnership with Kajima Corporation of Japan provides significant balance sheet strength in support of the project.

Mark Fischer, Managing Director, Principal Investments at Qualitas

The Fawkner amenities include an infinity pool atop the level seven podium, a health and wellness centre, open air courtyard, gymnasium, lounge areas, business facilities, theatre and cellar. Working collaboratively with the client and design team Icon Co. expect the project which is 80% sold to reach completion during mid 2017.

Also on Icon Co.'s agenda is the conversion of nearby 14 Queens Road. Comparatively more advanced than the Fawkner, the Queens Road build which is currently little more than a shell will see the delivery of private apartments and a Tyrian-branded serviced apartment hotel.

The Arthur with test pod and the rendered finish. Image: Hallmarc

Developer Hallmarc is behind the mixed-use project which they reportedly purchased for $13 million during February 2013.

Set on a 2,326sqm site Arthur will include near on 100 apartments and Melboune's second Tyrian Serviced Apartments behind the existing 4.5 star Fitzroy location. Included within the build is a rooftop pool, dining, entertaining and fitness facilities.

The addition of the above two projects swells Icon Co.’s current Victorian build portfolio to well in excess of $500 million, with 2016 likely to see the company deliver $1,557 million worth of projects across three states.

Icon Co.'s largest current Melbourne project is Southbank's Shadow Play with the fledgling build valued at $126 million and set to add another 494 apartments upon its expected May 2018 completion date.


Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

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.


Transport & Design

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

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.