Mid last year Nicholas Harrison wrote a piece titled "Sixth time lucky at the Fun Factory" which highlighted the many attempts to realise a large-scale tower on what is South Yarra's premier development site. Spanning as far back as 1989, developers have sought to make good a string of predominantly residential schemes designed for the site, but to no avail.
The most recent attempt found itself at VCAT during 2013, and ultimately gained approval at 134 metres in height. Beyond that point 241-257 Toorak Road & 625 Chapel Street (as it's officially referred to) has since fallen under the control of rapidly expanding Melbourne-based developer LK Property Group.
In keeping with the site's history and current development trends, a new planning application has been submitted seeking to increase the height and apartment yield for the project. Still under the moniker of The Capitol which surfaced during the failed sales campaign commenced during 2011, the new scheme before City of Stonnington seeks a 190 metre residential tower holding 660 apartments in a higher density format.
Project architect Bates Smart has essentially refined their previously endorsed design, creating a slimmer, taller tower while also reconfiguring the ground floor plane to allow greater circulation. The ground floor figure eight layout will heed 4,530sqm or retail space, adding to the already heavy retail offerings nearby.
While it may tower above all others in South Yarra, the below render shows that The Capitol wouldn't be completely out of place in what is a constantly evolving skyline. Given that the previous 41 storey development of 483 dwellings fell foul of City of Stonnington, it seems likely that VCAT or Ministerial intervention may well determine the fate of the current 190 metre proposal.
Urban Melbourne has now dissected The Capitol's planning application at length, highlighting the magnitude of the proposed development that may well permanently reshape South Yarra.