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38 Freshwater Place's proponents ramp up their intentions

One of the largest approvals during the Matthew Guy planning era is quietly going about facilitating changes to the permitted scheme that will significantly increase the project yield.

Dubbed Ultimus Tower, when under the guidance of selling agent CBRE City Sales 38 Freshwater Place changed hands at the turn of the year, with Sydney-based interests now driving the project. PCT Developments and Management is listed as the applicant for the revised scheme, with GL Investment Co Melbourne Pty Ltd installed as the newest site owner.

Post its initial submission during 2013, the Metier3-designed skyscraper was eventually granted approval by the current Planning Minister in March 2015. The permit at the time allowed for a 73 level mixed-use tower which forms part of the wider Freshwater Place precinct, but which also holds a Power Street frontage.

With a nominal development cost of $400 million, the most recent design iteration, set above a 3,096sqm site, will round out the Freshwater Place Precinct.

Intended ground level pedestrian treatment. Planning image: Metier3

Under a Section 72 amendment the tower in its external appearance will remain much the same at 272.25m tall at its roof level, although internally the configuration will be altered heavily.

With Metier3 still acting as project lead, the latest owners have sought to boost apartment numbers from 482 to 607. Premium apartments account for 14 of the 607, and are considerably more larger with internals of up to 195sqm. Overall, apartment sizes fall back into line with what could be considered the norm; single bed apartments of typically 50sqm, doubles with 70-80sqm and triples with 115-125sqm.

In line with the originally approved plan, a hotel component has been retained, although suite numbers have fallen from 390 to 299. The approved office space of some 1,288sqm has been eliminated as has the majority of retail space within the scheme; from 3,083sqm to a mere 538sqm.

Car parking provisions remain unchanged at 480, with both motorbike and bicycle allowances increasing.

With a new plot ratio of 36.8:1, setbacks to the north and west have been increased to 10m, with the eastern flank remaining unchanged at 5m. The podium height increases to 9 levels or 32.85m, with a new larger Gross Floor Area of 113,898sqm. This placed the tower among one of Melbourne's largest developments.

Power street perspective. Planning image: Metier3

As part of the revised application documents, a tentative timeline for construction has been included as part of the amended aviation application. The building itself and crane utilised in the construction process will be well under the PANS‐OPS barrier, but the building will penetrate the Essendon OLS barrier by 58.75m; the crane even moreso.

To this end the tower crane is expected to begin operation during August 2017 and continue through to September 2019.

These dates would suggest a best case scenario.

4 comments

Mark's picture

Que complaints from 1 Freshwater Place residents that stupidly purchased on that side of the building.

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Vas Nikolovski's picture

Any news on why this site removed for sale signs as quick as it put them up earlier this month ?

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Mark Baljak's picture

Not sure, but definitely listed for sale at the moment

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Vas Nikolovski's picture

Thanks Mark , Just noticed sign is back up .

Hmmm . With the approval of the new crown tower, tougher borrowing conditions , change in stamp duty laws from 01/07/17 and so many apartment options ( with better views ) perhaps at the $65 mill purchase price the due diligence in the current market simply no longer looks favourable .

Their returns would be better in the office space , space given the prices being achieved in the CBD .

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