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Melbourne's hotel boom draws Salta Properties into the mix

The lure of capitalising upon Melbourne's super strong hotel sector has not gone unnoticed at Salta Properties, with the developer's approved plans for a prime Docklands corner reworked to include a hotel component.

A long time at planning, 695-699 La Trobe Street was resubmitted with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) earlier in the year, with the intention of providing 175 hotel suites in addition to 305 residential apartments. The emergence of 695-699 La Trobe Street in its current form adds weight to Docklands' hotel credentials, with a handful of projects planned or at construction.

Planning documents show that for their Docklands venture, Salta Properties were negotiating with InterContinental Hotels Group to bring aboard Hotel Indigo as the operator, although of course any tie-up is subject to confirmation from the respective parties.

Active across all development spheres, 695-699 La Trobe Street shapes as Salta Properties' second mixed-use project which would include a hotel component. As part of Abbotsford's Green Square development, Salta Properties snared serviced apartment provider Quest to manage 93 studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments.

From an exterior design perspective, 695-699 La Trobe Street's shape remains for the most unchanged, with a new facade and ground floor plane in tow.

The redesigned exterior features a facade application that has become somewhat of a Fender Katsalidis trademark in recent times. Vertical timber-finish fins now veil much of the podium aspect of the intended tower, and are similar in nature to other Fender Katsalidis projects such as Ivanhoe Apartments.

A new ground floor layout would see dual lobbies and a combined bar/dining space provide continuous activation to both La Trobe Street and Harbour Esplanade. As part of the revised application, Urban Art Projects have included an urban art strategy with the option of including three major artworks across the tower's ground floor and car park podium section.

A new ground level interface. Planning image: Fender Katsalidis

Docklands and the adjoining South Wharf continue to prove themselves as a magnet for hotel development.

Salta Properties' entry into Docklands is in addition to Four Points by Sheraton which is nearing its construction completion, while Quest can expect its second Docklands outlet to begin construction in the new year. Flagship Property Holdings have begun works on a new 331-room hotel at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, while Riverlee is eyeing a new hotel an North Wharf as part of its pending redevelopment.

The only project that has yet to materialise is Altus Tower; itself a stone's throw from 695-699 La Trobe. PARKROYAL has been signed to Altus Tower, but post its official breaking of ground during October 2014, precious little has occurred onsite since.

The Altus as rendered, but not in reality. Image: thealtus.com.au
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