Melbourne Business School proposes 12-level Carlton campus

Melbourne Business School has submitted a planning application to build a vertical campus, which will also be its headquarters, in Carlton.

The site it has earmarked, 168-176 Leicester Street, is adjacent to MBS’ current campus (200 Leicester Street).

MBS hopes the proposed 12-storey college (artist’s impression top and below) will “bring together innovation, education and industry”.

“We are currently speaking to residents and nearby businesses about our proposal to build a new campus adjacent to the existing building on Leicester Street, where we have operated for more than 30 years,” the school said.

Artist’s impresssion of inside the proposed MBS campus.

“Our vision is that the new building will become a central location that strengthens relationships between local and international leaders, thinkers, their organisations and communities.”

If approved this year, MBS hopes to begin work on the new complex in 2021.


The application is for a 32,000 square metre, 6 Green Star building with multipurpose spaces “that create a hub for teaching, research, socialising and work”.

The Woods Bagot designed complex would also be used for related activities in graduate business and economics education at the University of Melbourne.

About 78 short stay hotel suites, which the MBS will retain as investments and for its own use, will form part of the complex.

The proposed development will also have retail space, gallery and event zones.


The site of the proposed school is located within three overlapping knowledge precincts:

  • The University of Melbourne’s Grattan South precinct
  • The City of Melbourne’s City North Innovation District
  • The Victorian Government’s Parkville National Employment and Innovation Cluster

MBS described the location as “the heart of Melbourne’s emerging knowledge district”.

“The area around Melbourne Business School has been earmarked as an emerging innovation district, and we hope to play a key role in bringing that to life,” MBS dean, Professor Ian Harper said.

In May we reported that construction began of a 14-storey student accommodation complex for the University of Melbourne at 625-633 Swanston Street, Carlton.


MBS sold its Mt Eliza campus for about $40 million in 2016.

In 2016, MBS made headlines in the property pages when it sold its 8.9 hectare Mt Eliza campus to aged care provider Ryman Health for almost $40 million.

This historic property, Moondah Estate (pictured, right), once belonged to Sir Reginald Ansett.

MBS also introduced the country’s first Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in 1963.

“MBS makes significant contributions to the city’s reputation for teaching and learning excellence by producing about 500 degree graduates and attracting more than 3000 professionals on short courses each year – many of whom travel from interstate and overseas,” the school said.

“The proposed campus is designed to keep the School at the forefront of business education globally, while also encouraging collaboration at a local level”.

Planning team

A project team of Contour Town Planning and Bryce Raworth worked with Woods Bagot to design the proposed building.

Pre-application presentations and site visits were held with the City of Melbourne, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Office of the Victorian Government Architects, MBS said.

An information session for nearby residents was held in May.

Woods Bagot’s education leader in Australia, Sarah Ball, said that “as a knowledge provider and educator, MBS was perfectly placed to transform and grow leaders and businesses into the future”.

“The building we’ve designed will serve as a catalyst for diversifying what the school does and who they are doing it with,” said Ms Ball.

“As a single address for graduate business and economics education, it’s also a home where business, community and academic leaders can collaborate on questions that matter.”

Woods Bagot principal and design leader Bruno Mendes said the design “celebrates both the local area and the energy within the school”.

“The characteristic elements of Carlton inform the stacked layers of the building, where each urban condition relates to the required program for the new business school,” Mr Mendes added.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of