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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
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