Melbourne’s city councillors have backed Cbus Property’s $1.25 billion plan for twinned towers Linked by a sky bridge on a prime Collins Street site.
Town Hall’s support for the bold design comes at a price. The council wants the developer to pay for a $3 million park that could be created next to the development, by closing off a section of a city street.
And Cbus Property still needs the seal of approval from Planning Minister Richard Wynne before it can begin
building the 47-level mixed-use project.
It is the second attempt in the past year by Cbus Property for a development on the 6000-square-metre island site it controls in the mid-town section of Collins Street.
Its first effort, a 295-metre tall, 74-level skyscraper that would have overshadowed the Yarra River, was knocked back by the previous planning minister, Matthew Guy.
Mr Wynne has expressed his support for that decision. Cbus Property radically overhauled its plans, cutting the project to 47 levels and 165 metres, and joining the towers with a sky bridge, in a design by Woods Bagot and New York-based SHoP Architects.
Just two days before Cbus Property lodged a redesign conforming with the city’s old rules on overshadowing, Mr Wynne declared new interim planning controls In September.
The new measures set limits on height and plot ratios, along with setbacks and overshadowing. Under those new controls Cbus Property’s revised design casts too much shadow over the Yarra. Mr Wynne has the power to exempt the Cbus Property project from the new restrictions if it can be judged to be delivering a community benefit.
The redesigned project includes 2000 square metres of open space.That could be expanded by another1500 sq m under the council’s own desire to shut off a section of nearby Market Street to create a sizeable inner city park.
Above, the twin towers comprise 68,356 sq m of office space, 269 hotel rooms and 315 dwellings, along with ground-floor retail.
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