Steady progress in the planning world

The last month hasn’t been the most active from a planning perspective, however there is still a considerable amount of construction activity in the city and further to come once the Melbourne Metro Rail Project and Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal programs begin to ramp up.

The Breathe Architecture-designed Market Garden Pavilion is currently at advertising as it seeks a permit to allow for its operation by October of this year. Its construction will allow for the decanting and temporary relocation of traders while works are undertaken on the QVM’s sheds as part of a grander $250 million renewal of the market over the next five years.

Works on the site of the former Savoy Tavern on Spencer St are now well underway with the existing building on site making way for the Beyonce-inspired Premier Tower. With the site now cleared, head contractor Multiplex is forging ahead with construction on the 78-storey structure, targeting an intended completion date of 2020.

Other projects along the CBD’s northern stretches continue with Mammoth’s Empire tower on Elizabeth St joining ICD Property’s Eq. Tower in topping out. Lighthouse appears next in line, while Victoria One’s core continues to race away from its floor slabs.

Elsewhere, Cbus Property has announced that W Hotels will be operating the 269 rooms within the hotel component of Collins Arch. This news comes as the cores begin to form on the dual 41-storey towers following excavation and retention works.

Just a little further down, demolition continues at Mirvac’s 477 Collins St project for Deloitte. With the existing parking structure all but gone, attention has now turned to demolishing the eight-storey office building while The Olderfleet Buildings will be retained and restored.

Directly opposite Olderfleet, work has commenced on the pencil-thin Collins House being built by Hickory. Utilising its own unique patented integrated structural system – Hickory Building System – will see the 61-storey apartment tower constructed in nearly half the time of traditional construction methods.

Finally, while not explicitly a project located within the Hoddle Grid, the recent approval of Crown Resorts’ 323m tall One Queensbridge Tower comes with the added benefit of a $100 million public space contribution. $15 million of this will be put towards the long-mooted transformation of Sandridge Bridge across the Yarra.

With an initial redevelopment occurring in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2006 which saw artist Nadim Karam commissioned to create 10 abstract sculptures as part of The Travellers along the eastern portion of the bridge, with the structure of the western half exposed as a temporary condition.

The City of Melbourne has previously expressed its desire to transform this western section into Melbourne’s own version of New York City’s High Line – a 178m linear park straddling the Yarra between Southbank and the Melbourne CBD. The $15 million contribution will finally allow the City of Melbourne’s plans to come to fruition.

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