The Victorian government has approved a proposed 90-story tower in Melbourne’s Southbank designed by UK-based Wilkinson Eyre.
The tower, which will be located on Queensbridge Street opposite Crown Casino, is a joint venture between Crown Resorts and Schiavello Group. It will comprise 388 hotel rooms and 708 residential apartments.
The approved tower will stand at 324 meters tall, which, if completed today, would be Australia’s tallest building. However, it could lose its title to a proposed twin-tower complex on the Gold Coast designed by Woods Bagot, which is currently awaiting planning approval.
The proponents of the tower also plan to construct a pedestrian bridge over Queensbridge Street that will link the tower to a new lobby in Crown’s casino complex.
As previously reported, the tower is 10 meters taller than the original proposal unveiled in 2015. The 324-meter structure will have a plot ratio of 57:1, which is more than double the maximum plot ratio of 24:1 under the interim planning controls introduced in September 2015, and more than triple the new proposed maximum plot ratio of 18:1, announced in April 2016.
Under the proposed central city planning provisions, “a floor area uplift bonus” is allowable if “an appropriate public benefit is provided to share the added value.” Public benefit is defined as public open space, public space within the building, social housing in the building, or office use.
As a condition of the approval, the Victorian government required the proponents of the building to deliver a AUD$100 million (USD$77 million) community benefits package, which includes a new bike path, landscaping and public realm improvements to Southbank Boulevard, street furniture and trees along Queensbridge Street, a AUD$25 million (USD$19 million) revamp of Queensbridge Square with landscaping and two new cafes, and a $15 million (USD$11.5 million) upgrade to the historic Sandridge Bridge.
Construction of the tower, to be known as One Queensbridge, is reportedly expected to begin in 2018. In a statement, Crown Resorts said the project remains subject to financing and long-form agreements between Crown and Schiavello.
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