A look at three CBD projects

By Laurence Dragomir

In an otherwise-slow news month on the planning front, we take a look at three projects at various stages of their development cycles. 

That’s not to say Melbourne has ground to a halt, far from it, with the CBD’s northern and western ends a flurry with construction activity.

First up, developer Aust Global Investment (AGI) is developing a new 14-storey hotel within Bennetts Lane designed by Plus Architecture in collaboration with Breathe Architecture.

The boutique hotel will feature 44 compact rooms, inspired by the former Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, which closed this year to make way for an apartment development.

Plus Architecture’s design for the hotel’s exterior seeks to activate Bennetts Lane via a reception and café area located on the ground floor spilling out onto the laneway.

Construction on the hotel is expected to start in early 2019 and be open for business in mid-2020.

Elsewhere, Beulah International has appointed Multiplex to build its a $200 million apartment tower, set to rise behind the shell of the former Celtic Club on Queen St.

Designed by architects Fender Katsalidis, Paragon will accommodate 227 apartments across its 48 levels and will feature a diagrid pattern across its golden glazed façade.

The development will also include a three-storey elevated indoor urban forest designed by Paul Bangay which Beulah lauds as an Australian first.

Last but not least, Cbus Property is proceeding with plans for a high-end residential development at 13-23 Spring St.

The Bates Smart-designed tower – set to be marketed as 17 Spring Street – represents the pair’s second Spring St undertaking, drawing design cues from their earlier apartment project at 35 Spring St.

Cbus Property purchased the site, which currently accommodates the Mercure Melbourne Treasury Gardens, last year for approximately $70 million.

The 33-storey tower reportedly includes six one, 24 two and 48 three-bedroom apartments, targeting the higher end of the market, with apartment sizes ranging between 133sqm and 207sqm.

The development was submitted for town planning during April and has received support from the City of Melbourne via its Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee.

Final approval rests with Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

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