Apartments galore set to breathe new life into the western CBD

By Laurence Dragomir, of Urban Melbourne

Once derided as the derriere of Melbourne’s CBD, the west end is undergoing a marked revival with a slew of residential projects about to start. This revival largely can also be attributed to the ongoing development of Docklands and the redevelopment of what is now Southern Cross Station, with the resultant epicentre of Melbourne’s CBD slowly shifting to the area around King and Spencer streets. A snapshot is presented here.

555 Collins St

This is one of the latest projects to hit the market, following a colourful history at planning. Once the site of the beautifully-crafted Federal Coffee Palace, 555 Collins Street currently stands as the empty concrete edifice dubbed Enterprise House.

Initially seeking planning exemption for a commercial building of 400m, owner Harry Stamoulis sold the site to Fragrance Group, which tried for a 90-storey, 300m tower designed by Bates Smart. That was reassessed following backlash during the planning process and was eventually replaced with a 47-storey pleated tower rising from a tapering base. 624 apartments constitute the tower.

555 Collins Street is currently at the sales and registration phase.

West Side Place

Stage 1 of West Side Place comprising two 200m + towers including a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and is set to start construction in coming months following a successful sales campaign, with few apartments remaining.

Developer Far East Consortium is now pushing ahead with the next stage – The Gold Release Residences – launched on June 3 via Colliers.

Rising 72-storeys to an approximate height of 245m, the Gold Release will sit to the east of the Ritz Carlton with a laneway separating the two towers and frontage along Lonsdale St.

A fourth and final tower of 69-storeys and approximately 235m high will complete Far East’s regeneration of two city blocks, which it began with its Upper West Side development on the site of the former Lonsdale St power station.

Premier Tower

Premier Tower replaces the old Savoy Hotel on one of Melbourne’s more prominent corners. The site is now at piling following initial demolition and excavations, with the result a 249m tower and more than 600 apartments.

Fragrance Group is behind the Elenberg Fraser-designed tower, with Multiplex the head contractor.

At once a building that is the essence of first principles design – created entirely by parametric modeling – meanwhile, its spiraling curves recall the twists and turns of a woman dancing in black cloth.

The deceptively complex form is the result of research into wind, solar and massing criteria – the form is the best possible solution to all of those requirements.

Collins House

Hickory is progressing construction works on the narrow site of what will eventually become Australia’s slimmest tower, containing 267 dwellings.

To deliver Golden Age’s 60-storey residential tower and to deal with the site’s small footprint, Hickory will be employing its innovative HBS construction method

The project will be serviced by a single tower crane, with major elements including façade and floors fabricated off-site and rapidly assembled on arrival at Collins St. As such, Hickory anticipates the overall construction program on the Bates Smart designed tower will be reduced by up to 30 per cent.

The 60-level Collins House project incorporates the grand heritage façade of Melbourne’s historic Maker’s Mark building with a sleek contemporary tower.

Once complete, the 204m project will boast 271 luxury apartments ranging from two and three-bedrooms to double-storey, loft apartments over a single basement level.

600 Collins St

Developer Landream has applied to amend the approved plans to include a six star hotel in the tower with a marketing campaign not too far off for the ZHA and Plus Architecture designed tower.

The development, distinguished by three stacked vases, will deliver a plaza to Collins St and laneway to the west of the site activated with retail and a gallery space.

600 Collins was approved with 420 apartments in place, although that final release will likely see this number change.

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