Fragrance Group secures approval for the seemingly defunct 555 Collins Street

Singaporean outfit Fragrance Group has managed to gain approval for a substantial residential tower at 555 Collins Street.

Long after notions of a 400 metre commercial tower and in the wake of Fragrance Group's early ambitions for a 300 metre mixed use monolith onsite, a residential tower holding in excess off 600 apartments has been given the green light by Planning Minister Richard Wynne. This process of approval has taken place in conjunction with the site being offered for sale.

After failing to win approval for their initial scheme, Fragrance Group appointed Knight Frank in the early stages of 2016 as handling agent for what still remains a vacant office tower with prime Collins Street frontage.

Permitted this month, Fragrance Group released the following statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange, dated September 21st:

The Board of Directors of Fragrance Group Limited is pleased to announce that the Company’s Australian subsidiary, Fragrance VIC-MEL (Collins) Pty Ltd has obtained a planning permit for the property located at 555 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria. The planning permit allows for the Property to be developed into a mixed-use multi-storey building for dwellings and retail premises.

The Property, which is fully owned by Fragrance Collins, has a freehold tenure with a total land area of approximately 2,300 square metres. The Property is currently zoned “Capital City Zone 1”. Strategically located at the intersection of Kings Street and Collins Street, 555 Collins Street is a unique corner site in the bustling Melbourne CBD. The area is a central hub for business and well connected by public transport.

The development which was approved based on a floor area ratio of 1:24, will comprise of retail and restaurant outlets on the ground floor, 625 residential units consisting of 1, 2, 3 bedroom apartments and penthouses with car parks located in the 4 basements. Other than a whole floor dedicated to well-appointed residential amenities like lounges, gymnasium, swimming pool etc., residents will also be able to get to enjoy a variety of food and beverage and retail provisions on the ground floor amidst large recessed plazas and walkway connecting the development to the adjoining buildings.

Periakaruppan Aravindan, Executive Director, Fragrance Group

In comparison the initial Bates Smart-designed tower for the site sought approval for 1,020 apartments, 11,280sqm office space and 300 hotel rooms over 91 levels. With a site area of 2,292sqm and a new approved floor area ratio/plot ratio of 1:24, the tower could conceivably reach a height of approximately 160-170 metres while incorporating setbacks of 5m, as was noted within Knight Frank's marketing material for the site.

Considering the aforementioned parameters, a tower of approximately 55,000sqm should be in the offing. For comparison's sake the existing 555 Collins Street office building has approximately 25,000sqm of vacant office space within its dated exterior.

An early Bates Smart design for 555 Collins Street

Both the final design and Fragrance Group's intentions for the vacant 555 Collins Street have yet to be made public. With approval in place and the site's sales campaign yet to make any headway, it could be that Fragrance Group will choose to retain the asset in order to push through the freshly approved apartment scheme.

Not far away Fragrance Group are preparing to oversee the construction of Premier Tower on the Savoy site at 134 Spencer Street. Word has it the venue will close on November 25th in order to facilitate construction of the 249 metre tower, with Brookfield reportedly appointed as builder.

Lead image: Knight Frank


Rohan Storey's picture

How could they get a permit without advertising?


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Mark's picture


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SYmlb's picture

If they only go to 160m or so, would it just not be easier and cheaper for them to reclad and convert the existing tower into a residential/hotel? Sounds like they want to flip this then.

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