Council market buy tops the list

By Alastair Taylor

October has been a busy month for planning and development news in the CBD headlined by City of Melbourne’s purchase of the Munro site adjacent to Queen Victoria Market and the topping out ceremony for 567 Collins St.

On Wednesday the 15th, the City of Melbourne announced it was the successful bidder for a collection of individual land parcels bound by Queen and Therry streets, opposite the Queen Victoria Market.

Just one week prior to the announcement and during the expression of interest period, the council released design guidelines for the site outlining its expectations which included preferred podium heights of between 20 and 30 metres as well as minimum tower setback guidelines.

Perhaps the most insightful comments were delivered by Cr Stephen Maybe via Twitter where he stated a council debate on the Queen Victoria Market in August was pivotal in driving the $76 million Munro site bid.

“Buying Munro allows council to convert existing at-grade car park into public open space and avoid a disruptive $55 million underground car park.  Melbourne’s first cemetery under the existing ugly Queen Victoria Market at-grade car park makes redevelopment very difficult. [The] Munro site could take 400 spots,” Cr Mayne said.

Elsewhere Investa and Leighton’s 567 Collins St in the West End celebrated its “topping out” ceremony in recent days with Lord Mayor Robert Doyle presiding over the ceremony.  567 Collins St is a 26-level premium commercial building with 50,000 sqm of leasable space.

Jemena joins Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Leighton Contractors as tenants whilst the CBD’s second Virgin Active Health Club will be present over levels one and two upon completion due for August, 2015.

Urban Melbourne was on hand to tour two recently completed and now tenanted residential projects, namely MY80 on Elizabeth St and 199 William St.  Formerly Communications House, 199 William St which sat dormant for years on end now provides private apartments and the CBD’s first Wyndham.  Both photographic tours are available to view on Urban Melbourne.

In planning news, 399 Little Lonsdale St sees a revised submission seeking a 199m tower containing apartments and two hotels totalling 447 rooms.

Likewise, check out Urban Melbourne where we analysed the masterplan for the former World Congress Centre at 7-23 Spencer St.  Architects Elenberg Fraser have come up with a scheme of four individual angular towers of varying height between 20 and 29 levels.

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