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Love me tender: projects currently at tender that will begin in 2017

A flourish of construction tender activity toward the year's end is seeing Melbourne's commercial builders lining up to grab some of the city's prime construction contracts.

With a host of tenders emerging in the last two weeks, 2017 is shaping as a year that will continue Melbourne's heightened levels of construction output. While the mega tower builds that have defined recent years may be on the wane, there's no shortage of other projects across a variety of uses that will step into the breach over the course of 2017.

Two serviced apartments projects are lining up for a 2017 commencement. Southbank's 64 Clarendon Street is already subject to early works, with the successful builder tasked with delivering roughly 160 apartments within the Bruce Henderson Architects-designed tower. The 27 level structure gained approval earlier this year.

A long expected addition to Epping Plaza is also close to fruition. Quest has naming rights for a predominantly serviced apartment building at 125 Cooper Street, which also includes 58 car parking spaces and commercial space. Quest will also see its brand in NewQuay, with MAB's Elm & Stone project also at tender.

Serviced apartments and hotel suites keep on keeping on

Residential apartment projects of course account for the majority of current tenders, with the number of projects heading toward construction too numerous to mention.

Among the smaller to medium sized projects on the tender radar are 1-3 Otter Street, Merri Green, the aforementioned Elm & Stone, MontVue, 100 Bouverie Street, 122 Roseneath Street and Holme Apartments.

Within the CBD, two major apartment projects are in the offing. The long-at-sales Wills Tower is at tender, with the successful builder to take on the task of constructing the 35 level building which will include roughly 200 dwellings, on behalf of Shangyi Property.

What shapes as Melbourne's biggest build next year is also at tender. The first phase of West Side Place will see 222,000sqm of Gross Floor Area constructed; 1369 residential apartments, a 263 room 6-star Ritz-Carlton hotel, 12 retail tenancies and four basement levels of car parking will make the build one of the largest ever undertaken in Melbourne.

West Side Place with an assortment of smaller residential projects due for 2017

Aged care is also set to receive its share of construction attention during 2017. In addition to sizeable developments across Heidelberg, Preston, Greensborough and Hawthorn, a construction tender is also open for Australian Unity's repurposing of their current headquarters at 114-130 Albert Road, South Melbourne.

A 2017 start date is unlikely for the existing tower over part of the site, given Australian Unity will vacate their current head office for a new Spring Street build due for completion in 2018. The balance of the amalgamated site holds a single storey commercial tenancy which could in theory begin next year subject to planning approval.

Regardless the construction tender is open for the project which at this stage includes a new 19 level tower adjoining Australian Unity's current office. Included are retirement apartments, an aged-care facility, medical centre, retail space and restaurant above basement parking.

Australian Unity's envisaged redevelopment

Rounding out the list of noteworthy projects at tender is Bunnings's intended Doncaster store. While not normally a project worthy of coverage by Urban Melbourne, the initial works are likely to include provisions for the delivery of apartments set above the new outlet. Approval was granted for hundreds of new dwellings above the store, which are likely to be delivered over stages.

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