Going, going... development sites almost gone?

The weather may be cooling off, but residential development sites remain hot commodities throughout greater Melbourne. With an increasing gaggle of overseas investors and developers looking to muscle in on the local apartment market in particular, competition for prime residential development sites remains high.

Here's a rundown of the current crop of premier development sites on the market.

274-278 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

A slice of prime CBD land is up for grabs with 274-278 Little Lonsdale Street offered for sale by CBRE. With the property available for the first time in over 50 years, the 708 sqm site is sure to garner interest amongst developers.

The adjoining Melbourne Star apartment complex at 41 levels gives a fair indication as to what size development can be expected for the site into the future.

65-71 Haig Street, Southbank

At 1,001sq m, 65-71 Haig Street carries two street frontages and is within an established residential precinct. Selling agent Savills suggest that a residential tower of 33 levels or 100 metres is expected, although in gaining approval for an adjoining 37 level, 119 metre tower, architects Bruce Henderson suggest a tower of 200 metres or so is in the offing as seen below.

5 - 9 Blanch Street, Preston

Preston seems never to be without a handful of apartment project at sales and 5-9 Blanch Street may well join the herd once the site finds a new owner. With solid positioning, an approved Rothe Lowman design and Bell Station at the front door, the development site is for sale by tender.

Under the approved plans, 114 apartments and 1 commercial space can be realised.

642-654 Doncaster Road, Doncaster

Maintaining a steady rather than spectacular rate of apartment development, Doncaster Hill development sites are becoming all the more rare. Currently controlled by Englehart, 642-654 Doncaster Road is an approved Peddle Thorp-designed apartment complex of 273 apartments mixed with retail at street level.

Colliers suggest the site provides "The opportunity to construct a modern landmark development with a stunning architectural design."

1-13 Cobden Street, South Melbourne

1-3 Cobden Street has been subject to development speculation in the past as the above design by dKO Architecture demonstrates. Now subject to a preferred height of 45 metres, the 2000 sqm island site is still capable of accommodating 238 apartments according to agent Lemon Baxter.

45 metres equates to 15 levels of residential living, although with taller residential towers in the vicinity a few more floors may be in the offing.

50 Park Street, South Melbourne

Located next to the newly completed Essence apartment project, 50 Albert Street South Melbourne consists of a 374 sqm site with two street frontages and an expected development envelope of 12 levels.

Bruce Henderson Architects carries a design for 50 Park Street on their website. Listed as at planning although now unlikely to proceed, the renders give a fair indication of what the site can accommodate post development.

2 Bowen Crescent, Melbourne

Another Lemon Baxter listing sees a preliminary development scheme in place. The eventual buyer may choose to deliver the Elenberg Fraser designed apartment complex which sees 233 apartments over 18 levels.

Otherwise the 1,821 sqm site which currently acts as a commercial car park may well be subject to another scheme soon enough, owing to its location in an existing apartment hotspot.

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