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Bensons and Headland sign in at Stonnington

Although applications for substantially tall apartment towers have eased over recent times within City of Stonnington, two current development applications across Prahran and South Yarra represent the next sling of smaller sized towers for the municipality.

A 14 storey apartment building at 10-16 Cecil Place is being sought by Bensons Property Group. The quiet Prahran thoroughfare is eventually expected to be graced by the Fender Katsalidis-designed building that includes 92 dwellings, with the vast majority of those encompassing two bedrooms.

10-16 Cecil Place along with Vanguard and Chronicle sees a total of 447 dwellings across various stages of development within Stonnington under the Bensons umbrella.

The Cecil Place development as envisaged from Chapel Street. Planning image: Fender Katsalidis

Replacing a low-rise commercial building which spans the 1,263sqm site, 10-16 Cecil Place's proposal carries an estimated cost of development of just under $21 million.

Existing built form precedents in the immediate area rise to a similar height, with the most notable being Caydon's Troligi development. Set atop four basement levels for 96 vehicles, 10-16 Cecil Place's ground floor will also include a 229sqm food/drink venue and a 127sqm retail outlet.

Fender Katsalidis have taken steps to compliment yet distance the tower from the adjoining property which carries heritage value. Expression lines across the proposed podium facade match the scale of the heritage facade, with a similar degree of density also employed, as opposed to the tower proper's glazed finish.

Whilst 10-16 Cecil Place shapes as a future Bensons project, Vanguard is at construction. With ABD Group enlisted as builder, Vanguard includes 3 basement levels supporting 18 above ground levels and 323 apartments, 2 retail spaces and a gymnasium.

121-123 Commercial Road. Planning image: Elenberg Fraser

121-123 Commercial Road on the other hand represents Headland Properties' latest foray into the Melbourne apartment market.

Partially sited above the adjacent rail corridor, Headland's proposal includes a ten storey building, with VicTrack and structural engineering specialists having been included during the design stage. In preliminary feedback, City of Stonnington expressed concern about the buildings intended height of 33.8m, which exceeds the preferred height of 18 metres for the area as specified by the proposed Activity Centre Zone overlay.

In its submitted form, the Elenberg Fraser-designed 121-123 Commercial Road includes two retail spaces totalling 267sqm, 80 apartments, 88 car spaces and 42 bicycle spaces at ground level. Key to the design is a large courtyard fronting Commercial Road, which doubles as the building's major design feature.

From a public perspective, 121-123 Commercial Road also includes a new 3m wide proposed public footpath / bike path linking Osborne Street and Balmoral Street that would be maintained by the building's future body corporate.

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