The May CBD development wrap

May 2017 has thus far brought with it a string of cold mornings and a rash of news relating to various developments across Melbourne's CBD.

On the planning front, VCAT have delivered good news to interests seeking to turn the historic Phillips Shirts building at 274-278 Little Lonsdale Street into a substantial tower. Originally planned as a 59-storey residential tower, the design has been substantially clipped to approximately 100 metres in height or 30 levels.

278 Little Lonsdale Pty Ltd is the entity behind the tower which has now been approved for hotel use. Brady Group are the controlling force behind the project, perhaps suggesting that 274-278 Little Lonsdale Street may be developed under the Brady Hotels banner, in a similar move to what the developer has in store for 109-111 Little Lonsdale Street.

A new Exhibition Street perspective.

Also widely reported last week is the news that Malaysia's SP Setia have crucially been given the green light from City of Melbourne to pursue redevelopment of 288-326 Exhibition Street. Under the plans dual towers approaching the height of Rialto will be constructed, with unconfirmed whispers that Shangri-La assume control over the development's 500 hotel suites.

Final approval rests with Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

Continuing the hotel theme is news of construction tenders being released for a new Vivo Hotel at 33-35 King Street. Originally approved for 120 apartments across 29 levels, developer BPM have reworked the scheme after purchasing the site, with Elenberg Fraser reportedly installed as the architect of choice.

In projects sales news, 555 Collins Street is due to launch shortly with the project's display suite freshly complete. Replacing a drab existing onsite office building, the Bates Smart-designed tower will stand 47 levels upon completion.

555 Collins Street's envisaged pool deck and Paragon Apartments

555 Collins Street adds to Fragrance Group's other Melbourne pursuit, Premier Tower, which will over the coming months begin to rise above street level on its way to an eventual height of 249 metres above Spencer Street. 555 Collins Street's launch comes as the AFR reported last week on Paragon's early sales success within Malaysia. 

49 apartments within the tower located at 316-320 Queen Street have been sold to to Malaysian buyers; accumulated the sales have an end value of $70 million.

Finally the construction front also brings fresh news during May.

Probuild signage has appeared across 271 Spring Street, heralding construction commencement of Australian Unity's new headquarters. The $110 million office tower set over 16 levels includes 15,600 square metres of commercial office space and is due to be completed during 2019.

Probuild's dual new commercial CBD projects.

Probuild are also set to begin works on Victoria Police's new building at 311 Spencer Street this month. Across 39 levels, 311 Spencer Street encompasses 65,000 square metres of commercial space.

Finally the remaining tower crane servicing Light House at 450 Elizabeth Street is making its way back town to terra firma, indicating that completion is nearing for Melbourne's latest tower to reach the 200 metre club. Hengyi Australia's latest includes over 600 apartments within the 218 metre tower. 

Light House stands centre of shot

Development & Planning

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 12:00
With Victoria Police vacating 637 Flinders Street in 2019 to relocate to shiny new digs at Cbus Property's 311 Spencer Street, Sydney-based owners Anton Capital are seeking to offload the site a mere two years after initially acquiring it.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, May 19, 2017 - 00:00
Rachel Ong , Curtin University ; Christopher Phelps , Curtin University ; Gavin Wood , RMIT University , and Steven Rowley , Curtin University Australia’s capital cities are getting more and more units, that are largely concentrated and come with a hefty price tag, a new report shows .

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 07:00
Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations. Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.


Transport & Design

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 00:00
On Wednesday next week, RMIT's Centre for Urban Research is holding its third monthly Talking Transport event: The Melbourne Airport Rail Link, are we there yet? It is a free, ticketed event , to be held at RMIT's Building 80 - located at 445 Swanston Street - level 11, room 10 from 6:00 pm.

Sustainability & Environment

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 12:00
Over the course of the last week OSK Property has released images of a new Southbank park within its Melbourne Square development. The large public park will occupy more than 20 per cent of overall site and will be one of the first stages of the project to be delivered.