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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.
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Development & Planning

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 12:00
Gravity Tower, the first tower to start construction, top out and reach completion with residents now calling it home has been completed in the Montague precinct in Fishermans Bend. Developed by Blue Earth Group, designed by Plus Architecture and constructed by Hamilton Marino builders, Gravity Tower is well and truly a tower of the pre-Andrews government planning regime.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 12:00
Spring Street on Sunday unveiled its package of rental reforms that will see a variety of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (1997). The state government has branded the reforms 'Rent Fair Victoria' and set up a website outlining the changes.

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.

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Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 05:00
City of Melbourne intentions for a reimagined University Square are now available for viewing. The significant piece of public space at 190-192 Pelham Street is in line to receive a total makeover, bringing the green landscape into a 21st century.