Cbus Property has won endorsement from Melbourne’s city planners for a $1 billion-plus office tower after the super fund developer accumulated several sites in the middle of town once slated for residential skyscrapers.
The new tower straddles four addresses around the corner of Bourke and Queen streets and will be known as 435 Bourke Street.
City councillors will vote next week on the proposal designed by Bates Smart. In a submission to council, town hall’s planners have backed the tower. Final approval is required from the state government.
A taller 58-level tower was proposed under the original proposal submitted late last year. A revised plan which complies with strict central city planning rules is now before council, with a lower 49-level tower and around 58,000sq m of office space.
Under strict planning rules which limit the amount of density on city sites, the Cbus Property development is allowed extra space because it is earmarked for office use.
“The floor area uplift and public benefit requirements have been more than satisfied via the provision of office space and therefore is supported,” the submission said.
Planners also backed the demolition of a heritage-graded building after engineers concluded the building’s facade is “in poor structural condition and therefore retention of the building is not possible/viable”.
The Bourke Street tower is only a few blocks from the developer’s distinctive Pantscraper twin-tower project on Collins Street.
Cbus Property pulled together neighbouring properties into a single super-site after their Singaporean owners put aside a lengthy property dispute over their own proposals and offered the real estate to the market.
During negotiations, the super fund developer secured a fourth adjoining property in the precinct owned by a Brunei-based family, amalgamating the properties for more than $170 million.
The dispute had forced Singapore’s Chip Eng Seng to abandon its $350 million Tower Melbourne project at 150 Queen Street and return the 10 per cent deposits it had in hand for 556 sales contracts.
The project had stalled as trouble flared with its neighbour, the Chow family, which was pursuing its own plans for a serviced apartment development next door at 140 Queen Street.
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