Long at planning, 478-488 Elizabeth Street has come away from the approvals process with a permit.
Earlier this month the final stamp of approval was granted for the project, after a stint at VCAT which resulted in the appeals body issuing an order to approve the development during late August. The final result sees an Elenberg Fraser-designed tower in excess of 60 levels permitted on site consisting of apartments, a hotel component and retail tenancies at ground level.
478-488 Elizabeth Street slots in between the completed 226 metre Vision Apartments and the under construction Victoria One at 241 metres, and would further intensify the emerging 'wall' of skyscrapers that have created a new backdrop around Queen Victoria Market.
The project was refused by Planning Minister Richard Wynne during February of this year, with a visit to VCAT ensuing.
478-488 Elizabeth Street's tilt at approval took an unusual turn during the planning process, seeing CBRE City Sales appointed by then developer L1-2013 Pty Ltd to sell the site subject to attaining a permit. An International Expressions of Interest campaign was held some months ago.
CBRE City Sales have now completed the sale of the 1,172sqm site, with the new owner picking up the right to develop the mixed-use tower.
So while the new owner of the Elizabeth Street site takes the chocolates, it seems that RJ International (Aust) Pty Ltd's bid to redevelop Southbank's Tea House complex is more a case of boiled lollies. Earlier this month the application, which Urban Melbourne first brought to light, was moved from the State planning register to that of Council's.
This implies that the initial 39 level submission at 145 metres and with a GFA of 35,035sqm has shrunk considerably. Below the 25,000sqm mark, City of Melbourne becomes the responsible authority.
An amended application has indeed been noted during the approvals process.
Geelong-based architecture firm CLWA and heritage architects Lovell Chen conceived the originally submitted design, incorporating 312 hotel suites, 38 supersized apartments, various amenities and an internally reworked Tea House which would compliment the tower's intended use.
What the new plans for the 2,948sqm site entail remains to be seen.