The Northern Heights: CBD North model updated

It has been some time since the last update of the northern quadrant of our CBD model, better known as CBD North. With a host of new proposals and approvals adding to the precinct, it seems an opportune time to revisit the area as it stands prior to the effects of amendment C262 becoming clear.

Select each image for a larger view.

Elevation of northern CBD towers looking south.

At time of writing, the highlighted area as modeled carries 18 towers ranging in height from 57 to 267 metres at various lifecycle stages. The area has been limited to an island bound by La Trobe Street, Swanston Street, Victoria Street and William Street.

Significant towers outside of this include Eporo, La Trobe Tower and Swanston Central, while the fate of 293-303 La Trobe Street remains unclear.

Some noteworthy facts and figures around the development happening within CBD North:

  • Currently there are six towers under construction with Empire at 398 Elizabeth Street the 'smallest' of these at 62-storeys and 198 metres.
  • The tallest is Aurora Melbourne Central at 88-storeys and 267 metres with the current car park on site being demolished.
  • Vision at 500 Elizabeth Street is currently the most advanced in terms of its construction, with the tower likely to top out before Christmas. It will be the first 200 metre tower completed in the north of the CBD since the 211 metre Melbourne Central Tower in 1991.
  • Eq Tower has recently cleared its podium with work beginning on the tower proper and its bottle-like form.
  • Seven towers are approved with either sales and registration or construction phases imminent.
  • 212-222 La Trobe Street has approval in place, but has a planning amendment under consideration with a change of use to student accommodation and facade articulation.
Axonometric of CBD North's skyscraper developments.
  • Five towers are currently at planning with the dual tower Queens Place development already being marketed overseas, after gaining support from the City of Melbourne.
  • 111-125 A'Beckett Street is the most recent of these applications to appear on Urban Melbourne, and stands at 210 metres.
  • Two yet to be covered (but due to appear on Urban Melbourne in coming weeks) are 478-488 Elizabeth Street and 189 A'Beckett Street at 210 and 203 metres respectively. Both projects were lodged in June before planning scheme amendment C262 was implemented.
  • Of the 18 towers, ten are over 200 metres in height with all bar over 100 metres.
  • There are three developments of dual towers: 212-222 La Trobe Street for Scape, Queens Place and 386-412 William Street.
  • Remarkably, nine of the towers were designed by Elenberg Fraser and includes Lighthouse, Victoria One and 478 Elizabeth Street.
  • Of the remainder, two were designed by Cox / Fender Katsalidis, one by Hayball, three by DCM for Scape, one by McGauran Giannini Soon, one by Buchan and one by Peddle Thorp.
Axonometric of CBD North's skyscraper developments.

An article next week will look at high-rise development scenarios for the Munro site and the future development site at the Queen Victoria Market, essentially completing the work in progress below. Media reports suggest the building opposite Queen Victoria Market will accommodate a residential tower of approximately 200 metres in height.

Aerial perspective from the Queen Victoria Market.


Riddlz's picture

Say what you will, that density & height is amazing! But I am starting to see where the impetus for the new planning rules came from. Better setback controls are needed (though with some discretionary aspects).

Great work Laurence.

487 Elizabeth St actually has very reasonable setbacks going by that last image.

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

Great job.

Seems to be a few missing: 189 A'Beckett Street, 97 Franklin Street, 441 Elizabeth Street, 48 A'Beckett (45 level approved version).

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Laurence Dragomir's picture

Those projects save for 189 A'Beckett were intentionally left out.

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3000's picture

AB/Eliz axis is absolutely booming. Only a few cockups with Avant and my80 and the shocker that is Vision. But I'm hoping at least some light will reach those areas to avoid them becoming dark wastelands.

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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

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

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.