City of Yarra's commercial prospects boosted by 100,000sqm

City of Yarra's recent commercial planning application at 370-374 Swan Street has gone a long way to solidifying the municipality's push toward becoming the most active office sector behind those of the CBD and Docklands.

Increasing in both number and size, City of Yarra's prospective commercial developments have the combined ability to add in excess of 100,000sqm of new office space across the municipalities four major commercial nodes; Richmond, Burnley, Cremorne and Collingwood.

Many of these proposals are still at planning, meaning that City of Yarra is in many ways its own master in terms of how actively it chooses to push the commercial credentials of the municipality. At a point where many other municipalities around Melbourne are so heavily dominated by apartment developments, City of Yarra's wave of commercial proposals shapes as something of an oddity.

370-374 Swan Street becomes City of Yarra's 13th commercial entry within the Urban Melbourne Project Database.

Combined City of Yarra's development pipeline could yield an additional 80,000sqm plus, with prospective projects such as the Victoria Cross commercial tower pushing that figure beyond 100,000sqm.

Swan Street's latest commercial prospect. Planning image: Bruce Henderson Architects

370-374 Swan Street is very much symptomatic of the larger format commercial proposals before City of Yarra.

Currently occupied by a two storey showroom/office building, and with Zuster and Agnews Fireplaces as tenants, the site is a short distance to Burnley Station and sits directly north of the rail corridor. Zoned Commercial 2, the preferred built form for this sub-precinct is for 7-10 storeys, although this is subject to further investigation.

Looking to capitalise upon the area's growing popularity, entity 370 Swan Street Pty Ltd enlisted Bruce Henderson Architects to create a 14 storey office building with a gross leasable area of 14,804sqm. Of that, two ground floor retail premises account for 580sqm, with the balance cast as new office space.

Weighing in as one of Yarra's largest commercial proposals, 370-374 Swan Street is supplemented by 245 basement car parking spaces and 111 bicycle parking spaces.

Grocon's prospective view from Wellington Street. Image: Grocon

Other large commercial projects looking for the nod of approval include Grocon's Northumberland Street tower which encompasses 15,000sqm, 80-90 Johnston Street with close to 8,000sqm and 423-425 Smith Street which includes 7,500sqm of prospective commercial space.

A number of existing planning applications have been adjusted to include commercial office space, with 344 Johnston Street and 314-320 Swan Street notable examples: the latter bumping its commercial floor space up to 5,400sqm. The remaining projects are smaller in nature, with Cobild's 9-11 Cremorne Street and 345 Swan Street the standouts.

City of Yarra's commercial surge is put into perspective relative to its commercial projects which are at leasing or under construction; only three projects rate a mention. East Edge Botanicca with 16,000sqm has long been offered for lease, whilst 110 Church Street and 13 Cremorne Street are at construction have a combined yield of near on 6,000sqm.

As mentioned earlier, City of Yarra's largest project on the radar is Angelo Property Group and Pulitano Group's Victoria Cross development at 151-159 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy. The 1,684sqm corner block is envisaged as a 16 level commercial tower which would boast the area's largest commercial footprint.

Victoria Cross. Image: Angelo Property Group


George D's picture

I expect that City of Yarra will reject all of these. They've shown severe hostility to developments above four levels, as these 'ruin the skyline' and remind the inhabitants that they live in Australia's second largest city.

In most cases COY will be overruled by the Minister.

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Melbourne Oracle's picture

Isn't there a couple of larger applications on Church Street that should be included?

506-510 Church Street - 20,000sqm (Alfasi)
610-612 Church Street - 8,000sqm (IconCo)
633-658 Church Street - 20,000sqm (Kane/Pacific Shopping Centres)
57 Balmain Street - 12,000sqm (Inge Group)

Knows a little about a lot.

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johnproctor's picture

Its an interesting one George. I tend to agree with you on City of Yarra

However in this case the developments are generally located in precincts Yarra is more inclined to approve developments and City of Yarra have a big thing about maintaining employment in their municipality so they may be more inclined to approve commercial buildings than apartments.

They'll probably still refuse most or at least try and whittle them down to 8 stories maximum but could be surprised with some of these.

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Mark Baljak's picture

There's undoubtedly more, but those in the article are the projects that have been made publicly available to this point.

So pushing up on 170,000sqm including the above.

I wonder if those in charge at Yarra consider the economic implications of attracting commercial development?

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Bilby's picture

They certainly do. Most of those developments will be relatively uncontroversial in Yarra, with the exception of ACU's Victoria Cross Development (too great an impact on the heritage overlay)

and St. Vincent Hospital's redevelopment of their site near the corner of Brunswick and Victoria Pde (again, serious heritage concerns around three key buildings, including the 1850s hotel on the corner).

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