Uplift for office development

City of Melbourne councillors have supported a proposal to build a 22-storey mixed-use development above a commercial car park in Little Lonsdale St.

Using a yet-to-be-granted address of 140 Lonsdale St, the development sits behind a 29-story office tower at 150 Lonsdale St.

The development has a plot ratio of 22.77:1 – exceeding the 18.1 limited imposed by the recent planning scheme amendment C270.

Developer Charter Hall is claiming the extra floor area uplift because adding 16,000sqm of commercial office is considered a “public benefit”.

The council’s urban design department is critical of the amount of car parking remaining within the development.  Although Charter Hall is reusing 248 of the 643 spaces, some 395 of the spaces remain.

In a report to the November 14 Future Melbourne Committee meeting, the department said: “Acknowledging commerciality and timing of project, retention of the car park impacts potential to contribute positive and active interfaces.”

“While adaptive re-use in the city is generally supported, it’s recommended that the proposal excludes above ground parking and adapt the floorplates to other uses, or demolish the existing car park.”

Council planning chair Nicholas Reece acknowledged numerous complaints from residents in the nearby Regency Tower, but praised the quality of the proposal’s architecture.

He said allowing the developer to reduce its commitment to keeping office use within the building from 30 years to 10 years was “reasonable”.

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