The rise and rise of the residential towers

By Alastair Taylor

Headlining news within Melbourne’s CBD this month has been the approval of Aurora Melbourne Central.  The Elenberg Fraser-designed edifice encompasses 941 apartments and 208 services apartments over 92 levels will tower 271 metres above LaTrobe St.
Developer UEM Sunrise has engaged Colliers to run its campaign with sales now available.
A hop, skip and a jump up Elizabeth St, Victoria One – the 241 metre tower designed by the indomitable Elenberg Fraser – has started construction with the removal of the display suite well underway.
We have also spied some movement onsite at Light House located opposite Victoria One.
In scenes that have only been observed during the 1990s commercial skyscraper boom – when 120 Collins St, 101 Collins St, Melbourne Central, Telstra, Casselden Place, 530 Collins St and Bourke Place all rose in quick succession – Victoria One and Light House will be two of four residential towers over 200 metres in height to start construction within months of one another.
Next cab off the rank to start construction will likely be ICD Property’s EQ Tower on A’Beckett St with the recommencement of works at Tower Melbourne on the corner of Bourke and Queen streets also expected shortly.
Nearby to Victoria One, Light House and EQ Tower, Malaysian-based SP Setia’s dual tower Fulton Lane development has topped out with a ceremony to mark the occasion held in late October.
In VCAT news, 338 Queen St – a super-skinny 36-level tower on a site measuring 290 square metres – has been rejected.  “It is self-evident that the proposal does not adopt the typology preferred in policy and has no scope to do so,” the associated order stated.
Last month the City of Melbourne gave notice to support a CBUS proposal measuring 295 metres located at 447 Collins Street.
Notwithstanding the height of the tower, the proposal is noteworthy given it would overshadow the southern bank of the Yarra during the equinox.  Yet council supported the proposal given a large chunk of public space fronting Collins St would have been developed by CBUS in return.
In late October, the Planning Minister rejected the proposal on overshadowing grounds.

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