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A king sized opportunity presents itself in the CBD

Local and international developers now have the opportunity to run the ruler over what is one of Melbourne's largest permitted CBD development sites. 299 King Street has been placed on the market in the knowledge that it is one of the last remaining super-sized developments within Melbourne's CBD that was not subject to evised planning rules which were introduced during 2015.

Dubbed Kings Tower, the 208 metre residential scheme design by Plus Architecture looms as a trophy purchase for the eventual buyer, with CBRE Melbourne City Sales handling the campaign.

Included within the approved 66 level envelope are 400 plus dwellings above a podium featuring a variety of communal uses and provision for both car and bicycle parking. CBRE Melbourne City Sales expect that the eventual buyer may proceed with the residential scheme as is, or introduce other uses such as a hotel, serviced apartments and/or student accommodation, subject to Council approval.

Kings Tower as rendered from street level. Image: CBRE City Sales

What they say

Only four major development sites have come to the market in 2016, and we are seeing a major uptick in demand from offshore developers who have been waiting for quality sites to become available.

After receiving planning approval, the vendor received several private approaches by local and offshore groups, and has subsequently decided to offer the property to the open market.

Josh Rutman, Director, CBRE Melbourne City Sales

It is interesting to observe the ongoing appetite from Asia for high profile development sites. We have seen almost $300 million of development site sales in Melbourne over the past two months, some with planning approval and others without.

Mark Wizel, Senior Director, CBRE Melbourne City Sales

A lot of the developments in the area are very rectangular," she said. "King Street is a main arterial road for people passing through the CBD and although this building is not at the edge of the CBD grid, it's close enough that it becomes a beacon travelling from the north and south.

Jessica Liew, Director, Plus Architecture

First appearing on Urban Melbourne in early 2015, 299 King Street's design impetus came chiefly from Constantin Brancusi's Bird in Space, Alvar Aalto's Savoy Vase and the iridescent nature of a bubble which captures the reflection and refraction of light waves via its surface. The resultant approved design features pearlescent façade would produce a pink, bluish, purple effect depending on how light is cast over the tower.

The tower also incorporates curvaceous lines with a bulge in form toward its peak, providing it with a point of difference in relation to many of the nearby buildings.

At a floor space ratio of almost 40:1, 299 King Street is an unrepeatable design, with the pending implementation of new planning controls seeing a ratio of 18:1 blanket the CBD and Southbank, although there is limited scope for an increased ratio subject to public benefit clauses.

Kings Street frontage. Image: CBRE City Sales

Located in the CBD's western precinct, Kings Tower is set to add to the continued transformation of the area, which has seen elevated levels of development over the last decade. Upper West Side and the pending delivery of West side Place which includes Melbourne's first Ritz-Carlton underline the degree of change seen within the western precinct.

CBRE Melbourne City Sales have cited government data within their sales material, showing that an estimated 45,000 new dwellings are required in the inner city over the next 15 years to accommodate population growth.

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