Contrasting commercial projects

In this month’s column we look at a couple of contrasting commercial projects in addition to the City of Melbourne’s plans for a new public square as part of the $250 million Queen Victoria Market renewal project.

First up, development partners Perri Projects and Pellicano are proposing a $150 million 21-storey boutique office building next to Bennett’s Lane.

Spanning a 1500sqm site at 11-21 Bennetts Lane, the project dubbed simply “Bennetts Lane” would introduce a unique mixed-use tower comprising two levels of retail and F&B tenancies, co-working spaces, A-grade office space, a function centre and rooftop bar totalling 12,000sqm.

555 Collins Street.

The development team says the project has been inspired by the international concept of a “vertical village” and will include first class end-of-trip facilities, a rooftop bar and is designed to set a benchmark environmental standard meeting 5-star NABERS and 5-star Green Star.

According to Perri Projects, Bennetts Lane is targeting a completion date of Q2 2022.

For those unfamiliar with the site, it is situated directly opposite Charter Hall’s Wesley Place development currently under construction.

Speaking of Charter Hall, the developer has lodged an application for a dual tower development of $1.5bn across two sites it owns at 555 Collins and 55 King streets. 

The two-stage development will feature a 35-storey tower and 32-storey tower atop a shared podium with a sloped roof profile to respond to overshadowing controls.

Charter Hall has engaged local architects Cox Architecture to partner with global design and architecture firm, Gensler on the project.

555 Collins Street is set to become one of the city’s most sustainable office buildings, targeting 6 Star Green Star, 5 Star NABERS Energy and Platinum WELL certification.

The tallest of the two towers along Collins St will be developed first with construction to begin in October and completion expected in mid-2022. This coincides with VCAT’s lease at 55 King St ending, allowing for the construction of the smaller 32-storey tower.

And lastly, the City of Melbourne endorsed its revised vision for the Queen Victoria Market renewal project based on feedback and recommendations made by the Queen Victoria Market People’s Panel.

In its revised vision developed with NH Architecture, City of Melbourne has proposed the transformation of the existing at grade car park into much needed public space to service the city’s north. 

To counter the loss of parking 500 car spaces are included in the southern development site, which was always earmarked for development in a deal struck between the state government and council. This is in addition to the car parking within the Munro development.

For the state government to transfer ownership of the southern development site to the City of Melbourne which would then on-sell the site to a developer (or developers) it would need to deliver a public space on the existing at grade car park by 2026.

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