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AZX Group's Docklands development rounds out the Stadium Precinct

Burgeoning developer AZX Group's Melbourne presence continues to evolve with their latest project before State planning officers subject to recent revisions. The last parcel of land to be offered for sale surrounding Etihad Stadium, 685 La Trobe Street's reworked April 2016 plans show heavily activated frontages with two residential towers set above.

After securing the vacant site for a reported $31.1 million, AZX Group are pursuing 629 apartments for the 4,411sqm site with Peddle Thorp Architects entrusted with the design.

AZX Group are expecting that the revised residential towers will replace an approved office scheme for the site. Designed by Bates Smart for then owner Charter Hall, the facility was to have offered 35,000sqm of office accommodation in a project valued at $220 million.

685 La Trobe Street development summary

685 La Trobe Street's northern elevation. Planning image: Peddle Thorp
  • Vacant site of 4,411sqm
  • Dual towers with the taller at 74.5 metres
  • 629 apartments in total
  • Tower 1: 140 x 1BR, 176 x 2BR, 3 x BR
  • Tower 2: 59 x 1BR, 247 x 2BR, 4 x 3B 
  • Total retail NSA: 1,035sqm
  • Provision for 373 bicycle bays and 103 car parking bays
  • Project GFA: 62,614sqm

Public interface

Concourse level. Planning image: Peddle Thorp

685 La Trobe Street is heavily activated with retail to three frontages over multiple levels, owing to the sloping nature of the site and Etihad Stadium's elevated concourse. 

Services to the development will for the most be confined to the westerly aspect which fronts a service lane, whilst an obligatory art installation will wrap the south-west corner of the development. In total 9 retail spaces wrap the development; a far stronger level of activation than a handful of neighbouring project that front Etihad Stadium.

The space separating both towers is expected to be finished with paving and areas of lawn which is a far cry from the barren concourse that currently surrounds Etihad Stadium.

685 La Trobe Street 's emphasis on interacting with its surrounds follows on from the AFL's mooted plans to redevelop Etihad Stadium's environs should it gain control of the stadium earlier than the slated 2025 date. 

Incidentally the neighbouring site controlled by local developer Salta Properties has also headed back to planning post receiving approval for 383 apartments within a single tower. A new design for the prime corner site is expected.

AZX growing at pace

The developer has five apartment projects in play with a sixth looming in the shape of the balance of the former CUB site in Carlton, for which initial sketches show a very substantial tower in the works.

685 La Trobe Street's 600 plus apartments aside,our additional residential projects would swell the developer's pipeline by roughly 1,500 dwellings. The initial stage of Riverina within Footscray's Joseph Road Precinct is under construction, leaving Bello on North Melbourne's Courtney Street as the project most likely to launch next.

AZX Group are very much indicative of the wave of Asian-backed property developers that have descended upon Melbourne in recent years.

1 comment

Peter H's picture

So an approved 10 storey building is going to morph into 23. If I 'd purchased in 675 La Trobe, expecting a view above Level 10, I'd be pretty peeved. And another tower on the corner, when everything else at that level (ie fronting the water) is max 10 storeys (channel 7 and 1010). There should be height controls lower down near the water so that the front building doesn't block everyone else out. Bad planning, bad outcomes. This is what is wrong with Docklands. There's no plan, no control. Just a developer-driven free for all. Sad.

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