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CBD | 478-488 Elizabeth Street Street | 68L | 208m | Mixed Use

Mark Baljak's picture
#1

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Mark Baljak's picture

And a link to the MCC report here

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3000's picture

Is this really the best outcome here? Another resi with crammed into the top end of Eliz?
Also, this one is listed as commercial on the forum.

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Melbourne Muse's picture

A hidden 200m tower. Sign of the times in Melbourne 2020?

Marvelous Mega-Melbourne

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Boris Bomber's picture

Why do companies put up pics that are clearly false. Those last two are a joke, may as well put a nice beach along the north side as well

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Mark Baljak's picture

Probably to view the design in its entirety?

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Aussie Steve's picture

The lack of side setbacks is atrocious.

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Adam Ford's picture

We can't view the design "in its entirety" if in all the relevant renders, its two immediate neighbouring towers suddenly magically disappear.

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Qantas743's picture

No need to worry about setbacks, impacts on adjoining buildings etc. This will never be approved. Carry on.

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3000's picture

I can't tell if you are joyful about it not being approved or not.

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SYmlb's picture

Three 200m towers on the same block basically butting up against eachother, not a great proposal there. Although this is not uncommon overseas, canyon effects and a complete blockout of sunlight onto nearby streets and apartments, this is not a Melbourne I want to see.

But what gets my goat is allowing the rubbish towers at 560 Flinders, Australis Apts, Marco etc (to name a few) get built with huge blank walls, yet they have problems with setbacks only? Low quality designs are not a problem at all? 100m+ blank walls fronting major city intersections are just as bad to the livability of the city, IMO.

Using the excuse that other towers are to be built next door to block out blank walls is not acceptable now that new regulations require larger setbacks, so why are they still allowed to build massive blank walls?

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

Crystal ball:

Developer will increase the setbacks to 5m from front and rear and 18.5m from each of the adjoining towers.

They will increase the height of the building to 85 levels to make up for the lost floorspace.

They will then obtain air rights over the adjoining properties to prevent development over 40m.

Problems solved and permit issued :-)

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3000's picture

I hope your crystal ball is faulty :(

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Peter Maltezos's picture

....Or they purchase the adjoining property (4 level building) and vastly increase the setbacks on the sides next to Vision and Victoria One.

I collect, therefore I am.
thecollectormm.com.au

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elev8's picture

I really like this concept and the fact that a part of town will have some exceptional density. Agree with Nicholas on his prediction which will provide a bit more set back relief. This area along with Southbank offer Melbourne residents an opportunity to live among the skyscrapers. I say if you don't like it then live somewhere else - it's not like the building height and density in these areas of the city havn't been 'telegraphed' for the last decade.

I would really prefer if council's planning department spent as much time as possible on insisting heritage elements are retained and podiums/ground floor enhanced the public realm.

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3000's picture

My biggest problem with many of the skyscrapers up this way and in SB are the woeful heritage protection and bland, lifeless podiums.
I am in Sydney right now and although there is a lot wrong with it, they do manage do make do with putting something other than a cafe in the podium.

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Bilby's picture

The density of this area, ELEV8 has been "telegraphed" for perhaps the last three years. If we go back to 2006, who would have predicted the scale of the developer led train wreck of urban planning we now have in the north of the city? We have thrown away a golden chance to have a lower rise heritage precinct around the Vic Market and laneways to the north - Melbourne CBD will simply never be able to get back the amenity lost. What a wasted opportunity - all that density could have gone elsewhere with far less impact on the good stuff. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, Melbourne.

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Adrian's picture

Off you go again with your 'height is evil' agenda Bilby.

Aside from the Guildford Lane precinct there is nothing that special about most the 'heritage' buildings around the north of the grid that warrants a blanket heritage overlay and some sort of council mandate to turn it into a 'Brickworks' style hertiage precinct. They are a mish mash of old buildings built cheaply at the unglamorous end of Melbourne while all the big money was spent down Collins St. For every historic old brick or stone building there is a post-war concrete shocker next door. Look at the fugly building that house the dodgy backpackers that Lighthouse has gotten rid of. Would you call the Drummond Golf store Vic One has turfed a thing out outstanding historic beauty ?

Some are worth preserving some are not but left as is the area is not going to magically transform into some historic wonderland you'd just be left with lots of dowdy dilapidated buildings owned by individuals with no motivation to do anything with them.

Do I have to mention yet again how Brady's Melbourne Star & Sky have greatly enhanced the Guildfold Lane precinct bringing much needed life to Sutherland Lane with the likes of Shortstop, Raw Trader & N2 bringing people spilling onto the streets where once empty car parks existed ? Yet these towers are taller and better looking than the The Carlson and its equally ugly neighbor that have destroyed some of the brick laneway character of the neighborhood for minimal highrise gain. Aurora is the biggest of them all and is going to replace a god awful hideous concrete carpark with street level activation on all frontages. Does it's 270m height have anything to do with that ??

Height is *not* the issue so stop spouting off like Michael Buxton and his cronies - it's what the planning department has allowed to happen at ground level that is the real crime ala Caledonian Lane.

And 3000 - I don't see anything wrong with this podium frontage and nor are there any exposed concrete walls. Are you lamenting the loss of the again fugly brown facade of the very ordinary building that currently occupies this site ??

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Bilby's picture

Adrian, you are showing your ignorance and bias around the meaning of heritage in an urban context - and you also clearly misunderstand my agenda. Show me one post where I have declared, or even intimated, that "height is evil"? I have no problem with tall buildings - never have, never will.

I do have a problem with the naive and unsophisticated view that heritage means cherry picking only the "glamorous", grand or landmark buildings of the past and consigning the rest of the city's built culture and history to the wrecking ball. There isn't a single urbanist worth their salt who would advocate such a lopsided view of heritage in cities. I'm not going into the whole issue of the benefits of fine grain, historic places in cities again here - read a classic like Jacobs' 1958 "Downtown is for People" or similar - this idea is not new: http://fortune.com/2011/09/18/downtown-is-for-people-fortune-classic-1958/ (link is external)

Coming back to the issue of height - I said that we have lost an opportunity to retain a unique historic lowe(er) rise precinct in the CBD by allowing almost uncontrolled high rise development in the north of the city. I stand by that. The fact that this area was historically built as a dense, but low rise commercial precinct (say 2-10 storeys) is not the important part. The significance of the area is in the fine grain, smaller allotments and diverse internal spaces of the building stock, not to mention the historic nature of the precinct, including the market - and yes, "the postwar concrete shockers" are part of this. There was certainly scope to add a tower or two, but packing them in like sardines has indeed destroyed the potential of the area as an economic and cultural hub. Better planners would have earmarked less sensitive areas for this type of development. New York does it, and we could have done it too. What we have instead chosen to do is to eat into some of our most valuable civic assets - the remaining fine grain CBD precincts - replacing them with large scale towers that offer fewer and fewer economic opportunities for small business, cultural and creative enterprise and all that draws people to the city in the first place.

Melbourne is becoming more and more suburbanised. They might be newer, more vertical suburbs, but the resi towers are suburban all the same - they replace urban grit, interest and creative space with sanitised, creatively dead street space that will never again attract the kind of businesses and opportunities that made the Melbourne CBD cultural renaissance. As a result, our most desirable urban neighbourhoods are increasingly outside the CBD, in the inner city areas, as the pockets of urban interest and variety in the centre dry up.

Ask any New Yorker - who wants to "live among the skyscrapers" in Manhattan? The answer is, almost no one. Given the choice, most New Yorkers would live slightly away from the high rise areas of Manhattan - few want to actually live in Lower Manhattan or Midtown given other options at the same cost. The rich want to live in the new supertall towers springing up at the bottom of Central Park, but again, they want that because of the views, not because of views of other towers. Melburnians would be deluded in the extreme if they though the essence of great urban living is towers. I'm not sure most Melburnians are much different to New Yorkers in this respect, however.

There is nothing wrong with height in the right places, but height does little for liveability and the urban economy. It's an old tale, but one worth heeding in 21st century Melbourne.

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Adrian's picture

I take your point Bilby and I actually agree with a lot of that. In New York I'd much rather stay in Greenwich Village than Midtown because of the smaller narrower more pedestrian friendly streets and street level life. But that's more because of the street layout and lack of tourists than any highrises or not. Many Asian cities thrive on bustling street life wtih highrises overhead.

I agree about keeping that fabric at North end of town and totally agree residentials can bring dead space but that's up to our planning ministers to endure developers don't let that happen (Eg. Abode) - done properly high rises and street level amenity can coexist and high rise development can actually help enhance ala my examples above yet again.

Stuff like Avamt & Vision have on the other hand taken away some historic buildings and spaces I agree but I stand by the fact those post war concrete shockers are much better served by being torn down so yes unless you have a precinct like Guildford lane which (or was) a wholly intact historic area then much of stuff (including this site) I'm not sorry to see redeveloped. Much of that end of town is simply dowdy and will remain that way.

And there's another argument you and Michael Buxton seem to forget. Who is going to inhabit and visit these spaces unless you have a large population living around them ? There's a reason why these spaces were never used because nobody lived in the city I grew up in 80's Melbourne the only reason you came to town was to go to the cinemas. St.Kilda, Fitzroy & Prahtam on other hand have always had life because of the dense population around them.

So you can't have your cake and eat it too mate without a large population living above those historic buildings would continue to sit there and rot.

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Dean's picture

lol ask any New Yorker... 'Who wants to live among the skyscrapers in Manhattan'... Only about 8 million. You're a crack up.

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Bilby's picture

Thanks for the reply, Adrian - it seems we agree on the fundamentals. Yes, we do need a dense population in proximity to the CBD, but that is not really a problem anymore, with a significant influx of residents since the late '90s. Once you get up to a critical number of residents in an area the size of the CBD, you really have what you need for the immediate area to sustain the diversity of businesses and activity we would want to see in a big city. That number could be 10,000, for instance, and still produce much of what is desirable in city life and culture (keeping in mind the daily influx of workers, tourists, etc.). So density isn't the problem these days when it comes to what we might describe as the "neighbourhood" or neighbourhoods of the CBD. What is a problem, in planning terms, is how not to wipe out what I've described as "the good stuff" on a block or in a precinct while accomodating growth in the urban population. This can be done with some foresight and prioritising of those very assets. If we actually put a value of these aspects of city life, rather than hoping new developments will compensate for the losses without proper legislation to ensure that they do, then we could achieve growth and a sustainable cultural life in Melbourne. Right now, we are not doing this. If the northern section of the city had been more regulated, limiting the number of towers we now see, then we would need to open up areas where those towers might go - e.g. Docklands, rail lands infill (E-Gate), and perhaps even parts of the Arden Macaulay precinct. Right now, Melbourne could easily reimagine itself as a mini-London, with a more distributed city centre, with pockets of tallness - or perhaps tall edges with low centres in the right areas, thereby maintaining all those important aspects of city life already described.

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture

don't CBD's need dowdy areas? otherwise all where left with is sanitised un-creative (and often more expensive and socially exclusive) spaces, with podiums containing not much more than the usual mix of cafe/nail salon/furniture store. the pattern of development on consolidated sites we're seeing really does limit rather than enhance the variety and uniqueness of the city.
there is of course a balance that's needed between putting blanket protection over areas like this and letting them be developed organically, then agan Adrian I think you are overstating the ratio of small heritage buildings vs concrete rubbish in the City North area (and of course some concrete rubbish can also be heritage ;) )

I think a few of the towers going up show promise, and no one missed drummond golf or that concrete bunker backpackers, but then again we've let the Stork Hotel and all it gave to the market context be demolished for what is one of the blandest podiums/towers in a vital corner location in the entire city IMO.

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3000's picture

I totally agree about the homogenised, sanitary steets that have been created with the usual podium cafe and private entrance. I'm not saying that every podium has to contain, offices and QV-style food courts but it's obvious that many of the towers being designed put these in as an afterthought just to please COM and gain approval.
This is something that Sydney does seem to get right in some regards (not always though, they have a lot of shitty urban planning as well). If you take away something that was once active and replace it with nothing but a dead frontage you really aren't giving much back to the city are you?
There are many examples in both cities where this has been done right just plain bad.
A little imagination can go a long way. Glazed, pearlescent glass is nice, but so is heritage and great street-level. The two can coexist.

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Bilby's picture

Is pearlescent glass nice ... when it is used on almost every project in the city?

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elev8's picture

Bilby, I understand your thoughts regarding maintain historic fine grain throughout a precinct but I have to agree with Adrian here. Walking around this area for the past 30 years, there were really only a handful of sites that I felt ought to be kept as part of a redevelopment. Now that may be in part caused by whatever demolition happened in the 60s to 80s to take out many Victorian and Edwardian warehouses, leaving us with a hotchpotch of third rate constructions. I would have much rather preferred the historic fine grain remained in Southbank and certainly South Melbourne.

But there really are many areas of Melbourne's inner suburbs where the low-rise industrial feel is present. I personally feel that this northern end of town is a prime area to develop skyscrapers within the central business district. Hopefully, now we can expect proper setbacks whilst still enjoying skyscraper density

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