51-65 Clarke Street's approval leads the Southbank shuffle

There's movement regarding a number of imposing skyscrapers planned for Southbank.

The Planing Minister has granted approval for 51-65 Clarke Street during April, allowing developer Newcity Development (One) Pty Ltd to proceed with the hulking 70 storey tower. The twisting multi-coloured design by Elenberg Fraser which tops out at 233m would rank the tower among Southbank's tallest, although still well short of the suburb's tallest approved tower - 1 Queensbridge Street at 323m.

Spanning a GFA of 52,313sqm, 51-65 Clarke Street consists predominantly of 512 apartments, supported in turn by 327 bicycle bays and 120 car parking spaces.

51-65 Clarke Street. Planning image: Elenberg Fraser

Although well in excess of the desired Southbank/CBD plot ratio, both Melbourne City Council and the Planing Minister saw fit to support the project.

With a proposed height of 233m and setbacks that comply with the requirements of DDO10, the development will not overwhelm or dominate the public realm or adjoining buildings

As the development exceeds the maximum plot ratio of 24:1, the applicant is required to demonstrate a public benefit contribution. With the provision of a new through block link between Catherine Street and Hancock Street and contributions to nearby streetscape upgrades and projections actions with the City Road Masterplan and Southbank Structure Plan, it is considered that the plot ratio of 30.8:1 can be supported.

Report to Future Melbourne Planning Committee

Also offered in principle support last month by Melbourne City Council was 87-105 Queensbridge Street. With Melbourne City Council's support or otherwise a prudent indicator as to whether a project will receive support from the Minister's office, 87-105 Queensbridge Street is now seemingly in the box seat to receive the green light.

If approved, the 170m tower would prove to be a boon for developer Aohua Sheng Le Property Pty Ltd.

Whether they choose to develop or move the site on, a permit for 852 apartments on Southbank is a substantial outcome. The planning application is also seeking the right to add 312 bicycle bays and 453 parking spaces within the Fender Katsalidis-designed project. 

87-105 Queensbridge Street's apartment split sees 354 single bedroom, 471 dual bedroom and 27 triple bedroom dwellings within the edifice which holds a massive GFA of 113,401sqm.

87-105 Queensbridge Street. Planning image: Fender Katsalidis

As the above duo navigate the planning process, a further two projects are looking for new owners as their current vendors choose to offload their respective assets.

38 Freshwater Place is the higher profile project of the duo up for sale. Knight Frank and CBRE have jointly listed the project, with its EOI campaign closing mid May. Up for grabs is the right to deliver a 273m mixed used tower featuring apartments, a hotel component and retail. After picking up the site at the turn of 2016, PCT Development & Management have chosen to move on the trophy property.

Rounding out the Southbank do-si-do is 127-129 Kavanagh Street, which - save for a couple of months of piling activity at the turn of 2017 - has been dormant for some years. Designed by Squillace, 127-129 Kavanagh Street's approved permit allows for 780 apartments and multiple retails space across two towers, with the taller at 48 storeys. 

The above two projects are particularly valuable given the planning changes implemented over recent times, restricting height and density, and therefore apartment yield within the suburb. 

38 Freshwater Place & 127-129 Kavanagh Street. Images: Knight Frank & Squillace

Development & Planning

Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 07:00
Hawthorn's Queens Avenue is emerging as an apartment hot spot of sorts, as developers realise the worth of converting the light industrial and commercial strip into a higher density apartment enclave. Running parallel to Burwood Road, Queens Avenue now has six apartment developments in progress.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 12:00
Carolyn Whitzman , University of Melbourne Liveability is an increasingly important goal of Australian planning policy. And creating cities where residents can get to most of the services they need within 20 to 30 minutes has been proposed, at both federal and state level, as a key liveability-related mechanism.

Visual Melbourne

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 12:00
Part Three follows on from the Part One: Yarra's Edge and Part Two: Victoria Harbour. The focus of today's piece will be NewQuay and Harbour Town, the northern most precincts within Docklands. NewQuay NewQuay was the first precinct to open way back in 2003 and has probably evolved the most.


Transport & Design

Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 07:00
It's been a long time coming (15 months in fact!) but finally here's part two of my earlier piece on addressing Melbourne Central's corner to Elizabeth Street. The introduction of more stringent controls via Amendment C270 - the successor to Amendment C262's interim planning controls - has impacted on my earlier concept.

Sustainability & Environment

Monday, August 21, 2017 - 12:00
The notion of Melbourne becoming a 20-minute City has been explored heavily in recent times. Seeking to provide Melburnians with the ability to 'live locally', the 20-minute City, in essence, strives to provide people with the ability to meet most of their everyday needs within a 20-minute walk, cycle or local public transport trip of their home.