Bates Smart's St Kilda Road endeavour

Another luxury residential development looks set to grace St Kilda Road with one of the boulevard's long standing office buildings set to make way for a mixed-use tower. Plans for the $155 million project show 424-426 St Kilda Road receiving a typically restrained and elegant Bates Smart-designed building consisting of both private and serviced apartments.

Lodged with Port Phillip mid year, the development team have since responded to council's request for further information for the project which holds a prominent corner position.

Given the site's size at 4,650sqm its use as a commercial building has allowed for large floorplates, although the trend of residential conversions along St Kilda Road suggested the relatively modest six level commercial building's days were numbered. Offered for sale some years ago the site was reportedly purchased by Chinese investor Lixin Chen for $45 million at the time, with the developer now listed on the planning application as CBD-based [email protected] Pty Ltd.

424-426 St Kilda Road application summary

Kings Way perspective of the intended tower. Image courtesy Bates Smart
  • Currently onsite: 6 level commercial building over a 4,650sqm site.
  • Proposed 18 level tower at 58.45 metres
  • Total GFA 55,496sqm
  • 145 dwellings: 32 x BR, 54 x 2BR, 55 x 3BR, 4 x Penthouses
  • Apartment sizes between 59sqm and 270sqm
  • 150 serviced apartments: 45 x studio, 75 x 1BR, 30 x 2BR
  • 840sqm of retail space over three tenancies
  • 324 car parks and 114 bicycle bays within a three level basement
  • Ground floor amenities and mid tower rooftop terrace
  • Estimated development cost: $155 million


The proposed new mixed use building has been designed by Bates Smart Architects and will contribute to the evolving character of the western side of St Kilda Road through a design response of an exceptionally high architectural quality. The design will be complementary to the existing character of St Kilda Road and will be respectful to the adjoining properties that surround the subject site.

The survey provide by Madigan’s Surveyors confirms the overall height of the proposed building at 65 metres AHD is in compliance with the shrine vista height control formula.

The overall formal strategy is conceived as a series of stacked objects. The tower mass is lifted off the podium and adopts an exuberant form that opens the premium residential levels up to views and natural light. It celebrates the development’s corner position as a continuous fluid form with ends that from views to the north and east. The tower facade is comprised of a larger grid order with an infill of delicate screens

Urbis & Bates Smart: Town Planning Report

Residential amenity is also high with ground level facilities including a central garden, gym, pool, spa and sauna while level 8 features a roof terrace with outdoor landscaped space, shaded garden, an indoor dining space and kitchen.

Apartments rule the roost

Apartment buildings dominate St Kilda Road. Image courtesy Floodslicer

424-426 St Kilda Road continues the steady decline of office space along St Kilda Road for the sake of luxury apartment developments. St Kilda Road has averaged one premium development per year over the past decade, with projects such as Yve, Balencia and Lucient considered some of Melbourne's finest apartment developments.

This of course does not take in to account surrounding strips such as Albert Road or Queens Road which are also in demand as high-rise residential locations, and which have also seen numerous apartment buildings added in recent years.

As for the current crop along St Kilda Road, Golden Age Group are at the forefront with Opera at sales and the former St Kilda Road Police Complex also in their keeping for a residential development. New Charsfield and The Fawkner are also at sales while 609 St Kilda Road and 619 St Kilda Road hold approval.

Rounding out the list is Parque and which is under construction.

426 St Kilda Road development team

  • Developer: CCL @ AU Pty Ltd
  • Architect: Bates Smart
  • Building surveyor: PLP Building Surveyors
  • Landscape architect: Taylor Cullity Lethlean
  • Land surveyor: Madigan Surveying
  • Planning consultant: Urbis
  • Services & ESD: Norman Disney & Young
  • Structural Engineer: Robert Bird Group
  • Traffic Engineer: Traffix Group
  • Waste consultant: Wastech Engineering


philiplees's picture

This prominent corner site was occupied by a grand Italianate mansion from 1889-1964. It was redeveloped in the mid 1960’s by UK builder/developer Costain and added to as a glass-roofed atrium in the early 1980’s by UK property company MEPC. It will now revert to residential use via another overseas developer, this time from China. The renders show a facade treatment with echoes of BS’s Spring Street apartments and IMHO it’s an external design worthy of the location.

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Rohan Storey's picture

I think its a bit dull. Bates Smart designs might be called elegant, but I just call them background styles. Just slightly random grids. Interesting that this prominent corner will have something lower marking it rather than something higher.

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