At its recent Future (Planning) Committee, the City of Melbourne resolved to provide conditional support to Cbus Property's office development at 311 Spencer Street. The Woods Bagot-designed tower will occupy a 5,136-square-meter site with a frontage to Spencer Street of approximately 55 meters, yielding an above ground gross floor area of 107,129 square meters.
As previously reported, Victoria Police will be vacating their current premises at 637 Flinders Street to occupy the 40-story tower, which will link to the existing City West Police Complex at 313 Spencer Street via a bridge. Victoria Police will sublease part of the tower to the Australian Federal Police, thus allowing for the redevelopment of the ADF offices at 383 La Trobe Street.
In addition to office accommodations, the tower program will include two levels of amenities, seven levels of above ground parking, and four basement levels with provision for 600 parking spaces. These above ground parking levels will be shrouded in a combination of glazing and louvers. A public foyer, police museum, and 526 bike spaces with end-of-trip facilities, will be provided on the ground floor.
According to the Council's report, the development's setbacks will avoid a “wall of towers” due to the existing setbacks of the City West Police Complex and the future development potential of the adjoining Spencer Outlet Centre. Additionally, the tower's form and orientation help to reduce the impact of the building's mass as does the façade articulation that distinguishes it from its neighbor.
While the development's plot ratio of 20.86:1 is in excess of the Capital City Zone's (CCZ) plot ratio of 18:1, the proposal's delivery of commercial office space as a public benefit satisfies the requirements necessary to achieve the proposed Floor Area Uplift. While the proposal awaits final approval from Planning Minister Richard Wynne, Cbus Property has appointed Probuild as the Preferred Contractor to deliver the new headquarters for Victoria Police.
Pending Departmental approval, 311 Spencer Street will begin construction as soon as possible, targeting a 2019 completion date.
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