13 Nov 2015

’Spectacular’ skyscraper plan for prime Collins Street block

Twin towers connected by a sky bridge could be built on a prime Collins Street block after a new $1.25 billion application was submitted for the former Suncorp building site.  

Cbus Property has gone back to the drawing board after its original proposal (a 300-metre skyscraper that would have overshadowed the Yarra River) was knocked back by former planning minister Matthew Guy.

The developer has asked the new planning minister, Richard Wynne, to introduce special rules for 443-455 Collins Street, to avoid strict new tower density laws introduced in September.

The 165-metre proposal would see 269 hotel rooms, 315 apartments, ground floor retail stores and almost 70,000 square metres of office space.

A commercial and a residential tower reaching 47 storeys would be linked at their tops with a bridge containing facilities for the apartment dwellers.

Consulting firm Urbis said “the bridge link will result in a spectacular architectural form that will be uniquely Melbourne”.

The plan also includes 2000 square metres of new open space, with a “tree grove” along a section of Collins Street and an amphitheatre facing Market Street.

Market Street itself is proposed to be converted into a $3 million park.

The design by Woods Bagot and New York’s Shop Architects has received the support of Melbourne City Council planners, who this week recommended councillors support the application, despite the proposed towers still overshadowing the Yarra River.

The 5926 square metre site was last home to a 22-storey 1960s office tower, which was closed to the public in 2012 and later demolished after dropping part of its marble facade onto the large plaza below.

The cordoned-off site is being turned into a temporary park while the planning minister decides whether to approve the planning application.

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