Fishermans Bend's development scene rumbles back to life

Fishermans Bend's overall development activity has slowed almost to the point of stagnation over the past year, as the collective development industry waits for the release of the draft framework for the urban renewal area.

In the shadows of the State Government announcement of these permanent planning controls, the three prospective projects below have in one way, shape or form broken the quiet spell of development related news within Fishermans Bend over recent days.

272-280 Normanby Road

Slightly varying designs for Normanby Road. Planning images: Hayball

A reworked design for 280 Normanby Road Pty Ltd's intended tower has gone before City of Port Phillip, with Council's October report on the project still recommending that it does not support the application in its current form. The 40 level mixed-use development was previously considered by Council during August 2016.

Included within the current scheme are 289 apartments (down from 396), an affordable housing component, 5 retail tenancies, 4 commercial tenancies, resident amenities and a 342sqm ground floor level community room. A through block link between Normanby Road and Munro Street along is also on the agenda.

"The amended plans satisfactorily address a number of Council concerns with the original application regarding tower setbacks, loading bay design, car park layout...but does not meet the new Local Policy for employment or affordable housing. The amended plans do not respond to Council concerns regarding tower height, and changes to the podium and tower façade treatments.

Council indeed want the tower dropped to 35 levels at the most, regardless of the fact it's in a 40 level height limit area.

Aesthetically the tower has seen its design merits lessened somewhat with its exterior simplified relative to earlier versions of the Hayball-designed tower, with Minister Wynne to have the final say on the tower.

68 Buckhurst Street 

South Melbourne's latest site up for purchase. Images: Colliers

The right to deliver 1,000 plus apartments is in the offing, with Colliers & Savills jointly listing for sale one of Fishermans Bend's largest development sites.

Approval is in place for a quartet of Fender Katsalidis Architects-designed residential towers, installing 68 Buckhurst Street as one of the urban renewal area's largest permitted sites to be offered for sale. As many as 1,004 apartments can be realised under the permit, with the ability to have the project delivered over stages likely to be an attractive selling point.

Spanning 9,478sqm, 68 Buckhurst Street's design outcome supersedes earlier versions for the site; one of which included 1,312 apartments, 1,055 bicycle bays and 772 car parking spaces.

Prospective buyers have until November 2nd to submit their Expression of Interest for the site which is in close proximity to the currently under construction South Melbourne Primary School.

2-28 Montague Street

Movement on the Mazda site. Image: McGlashan Everist

Developer Tim Gurner last week flagged the likelihood of 2-28 Montague Street heading down the path of redevelopment in the medium term.

GURNER's acquisition of the 10,000sqm island site will eventually lead to a $1.5 billion mixed-use, multi-tower project which is weeks away from planning submission. Having used COX Architecture on a number of current projects within City of Yarra, GURNER has again turned to the design practice for the Montague Street project.

Surrounded by a variety of towers which are at planning or approved, 2-28 Montague Street is expected to house thousands of apartments, childcare facilities, serviced apartments, a 4.5 star hotel, commercial office space and over 9,000sqm of retail space.

We are very keen to play an important role in Melbourne’s regeneration and the evolving urban landscape, so this represents an opportunity for us to really sink our teeth into urban renewal. The size of this site is aligned with our vision to create projects that are iconic and recognised both around Australia and internationally.

Our focus will be to price the first few stages strategically, offering a high-end product at an affordable price, so that we can quickly move through to construction of the ground level retail plane, and start contributing to the area’s regeneration as soon as possible

Tim Gurner: GURNER founder and director

The site will be the ‘front row’ not only for excellence in architecture but also in how an activated groundplane will weave together old and new, providing amenity and a genuine magnet for the surrounding neighbourhoods even beyond the building.

The location will provides the benchmark, the precedent and the catalyst for the link between the rejuvenated South Melbourne and newly envisioned Fishermans Bend precinct.

Philip Rowe: director of Cox Architecture.

Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.


Transport & Design

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00
When a site spans 19,280 square metres, it becomes a 'district'. That's the case according to the development team behind the Jam Factory's pending overhaul. Reporting on the project to date has focused on the close to 60,000 square metres of new commercial space that is earmarked for the site, but more importantly from a layperson's perspective is the extensive new public realm that is planned as part of the development.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.