CBD towers emerge and head skywards

March is generally the month when things begin to kick into gear as Melbourne gears up for another month full of events such as Moomba, the Formula One Grand Prix and the beginning of the AFL season.

This also applies to the construction industry with a number of towers beginning to make their skyward ascent after spending much of 2015 below ground. As the floor plates of Brady Group’s Vision tower on Elizabeth St near their final height a race of sorts is underway further south with Victoria One, Light House and Empire all well out of the ground now and the first traces of facade appearing.

Others such as Scape on Swanston, Avant on A’Beckett St and Aurora Melbourne Central are going down before they begin their rise up out of the ground.

Elsewhere, Golden Age Group’s Collins House development is set to begin construction this month with Hickory being appointed the main contractor for the project.

Employing the Hickory Building System (HBS) the 60-storey tower is set for completion by the end of the year due to the prefabricated nature of its construction. La Trobe Tower at 323 LaTrobe St, currently under construction, also employs this building method and is making swift progress.

The City of Melbourne’s Future (Planning) Committee also met for the first time in 2016 last month to consider a number of applications including a 65-storey (210m) residential tower at 111-125 A’Beckett St, a 68-storey (208m) residential tower at 478-488 Elizabeth St, and Scape’s proposed student accommodation development located at 212-222 LaTrobe St and 17-25 Little La Trobe St.

With the exception 478-488 Elizabeth, the City of Melbourne has provided its support to the other two developments.

Citing inadequate setbacks, the City of Melbourne noted that the proposal relied upon the neighbouring undeveloped sites to achieve an acceptable tower separation. The proposal was lodged in June 2015, prior to amended planning rules being implemented.

Meanwhile, it was also announced that the City of Melbourne was funding a $450,000 facelift to Enterprize Park to make the Yarra’s north bank more people-friendly.  Work is expected to commence soon on refreshing the park with landscaping, and more lighting for safety.

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