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A block of land that has approval for one of Melbourne’s skinniest skyscrapers is changing hands, at last.
After numerous failed marketing campaigns last year, 54-56 Clarke Street – a 597-square-metre block in Southbank – is believed to be exchanging for about $9 million. The registered purchaser is an investment group known to represent wealthy high-net-worth individuals, including Chinese developers.
The property was offered with a contentious permit issued by former planning minister Matthew Guy, who went on to develop the surname “Mr Skyscraper” because of his penchant for overriding councils and approving landmark buildings.
Mr Guy labelled it “a revolutionary change for the way that we design buildings in Melbourne,” to replace the suburban-sized block with a 74-storey skyscraper – one of the city’s tallest.
With a width of 12 metres at its narrowest, the new tower would be wedged between two apartment towers – Habitat at 58 Clarke Street, and The Bank, at 283 City Road.
It will be a prominent new addition to the Melbourne skyline, just metres from the edge of the West Gate Freeway (this road divides low-rise and high-rise development in Melbourne’s inner south).
Several agents ran campaigns to sell 54-56 Clarke Street last year including Savills in July and Lemon Baxter and Castran, in a joint campaign, a few months later. At one point, price expectations were said to be as high as $16 million before the value was re-assessed downwards, sources say.
The purchaser of the site is registered as Mitchell Asset Management, which also acted as an agent on the $172 million sale of the Yarraville’s former Bradmill factory site to a consortium of local and offshore investors last year.
Director John Mitchell was unavailable to comment. Settlement of the site is expected to occur within months.
The 54-56 Clarke Street proposal was one of a string of “superthin” towers permitted in Melbourne over the past few years.
The near-new Phoenix complex rises 29 storeys from a 163-square-metre site at 82 Flinders Street (the land once accommodated the Phoenix Hotel, once owned by football personality Lou Richards).
On a 483 square metre site at 464-466 Collins Street, a mixed use building of 57 levels has recently started construction.