SP Setia's northern statement: 308 Exhibition Street

The wider public now has a chance to see what developer SP Setia has in store for its prime development site on the northern edge of the CBD fronting Carlton Gardens.

These are the first images made available of the proposed application that carries a nominal development cost of $250 million, with the total value of the project much higher. Having secured the site earlier in the year, SP Setia now hopes to gain approval for the twin towers which are greater in height than Rialto.

After teaming up to devise the similarly scaled Queens Place development at 350 Queen Street, firms Cox Architecture and Fender Katsalidis have united once more to create the mixed-use scheme for the Exhibition Street plot which Telstra offloaded following the telco's decision to not develop the site.

308 Exhibition Street application summary

Artist's impression of 308 Exhibition. Planning image: COX/FKA
  • Site acquired by SP Setia for $101 million earlier in 2016
  • Site area: 4,140sqm covering 288-308 Exhibition Street
  • Planned 70 storeys towers measuring 254m from La Trobe Street
  • 504 hotel rooms and 16 hotel residences
  • 500 plus apartments
  • 330 vehicle bays and 254 bicycle bays
  • 3 retail tenancies combining for 437sqm
  • Estimated cost of development: $250 million

Billed by CBRE City Sales during the site's marketing campaign as a "generational opportunity to activate and redefine a CBD precinct, offering the potential for a world-class mixed-use tower", SP Setia have lived up the hype surrounding the site.

Planned are dual towers set above a green podium; one tower containing 5-star hotel suites for an intended international hotel operator and the other private luxury apartments. Documents lodged for the development emphasise SP Setia's intent "to provide a development of the highest quality incorporating the best quality architecture, landscape design and environmental sustainability."

Lodged as a master plan permit application, the development team will provide a heightened degree of design detail as conditions to any permit, should the project receive the green light from the Planning Minister.

Across the development, a host of public and private facilities have been included. Retail spaces, a 1,370sqm child care centre, restaurants, lounge/bars, a 548sqm ballroom and 1,333sqm of pre-function and function space headline the project's lower level offerings.

Scattered across the tower are also a yoga studio, gym, pool and sauna, residents wine cellar, cigar lounge and library and outdoor garden spaces.

Home of SP Setia's development aspirations. Image: 308exhibition.com.au

Arguably the project's main design feature, a curving sky bridge will link the towers across levels 49 and 50, with the structure slated to include communal spaces among other features.

According to the lodged Urban Context Report, "The Client and the Design Team (FKA and Cox in association) have developed the preliminary concepts in close consultation with DELWP and MCC. Over a series of presentations and meetings the tower forms, setbacks, building separation and ground floor activation have been refined."

In further addressing potential development obstacles, an aviation statement has been included within the lodged documents. It outlines 308 Exhibition Street's incursion into the prescribed OLS area by 55.75m, whilst falling 35.75m short of the PANS‐OPS barrier.

OLS breaches have become somewhat common in recent times, and may not necessarily present an issue for the soaring application as its moves through the approvals process.

308 Exhibition Street development team

  • Urban Context and Design Response: Cox Architecture & Fender Katsalidis
  • Landscape plans: TCL Landscape Architects
  • Traffic and Transport Assessment: GTA Consultants
  • Waste Management Plan: Leigh Design
  • Wind Statement: MEL Consultants
  • Environmentally Sustainability Design Strategy: Aurecon
  • Structural Engineering Statement: Irwinconsult Engineering Consultants
  • Aviation Statement: Thompson GCS
  • Heritage Advice: Lovell Chen Heritage Consultants


George D's picture

It will be interesting to see how this project interacts with the UNESCO listed gardens and Exhibition Centre. I wouldn't be surprised if this project becomes shorter or more discrete.

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SYmlb's picture

George D: It seems they have countered this by including a green podium and bigger setbacks and a lower height than the OLS while consulting MCC about the project, which is a good sign that they will actually get approval and proceed with it. Limits any reason for rejecting the project.

I personally love this design. That skybridge is fantastic and makes the design come together. A true landmark for the north eastern CBD.

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db2's picture

@George D,

Sorry to burst your bubble, this development will not be impacted at all by the Gardens and old Exhibition Centre. Not one iota, nor should they be. The shadow cast by these towers will have fall southwards towards the CBD, not northwards to the gardens. Telstra Corp and Casseldon Place already exist in this north-east section.

MCC and DELWP involvement tells me this will be approved just like Queens Place was approved (same set of architects for both).

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George D's picture

I'm very glad to hear that. I've had a look at the site, and it's well set back from the gardens. I will be curious about how the U connecting the buildings appears in real life.

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Elmer Fudge's picture

So no Project Manager is delivering this then?

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