Grocon bought the site from RMIT for $39 million in late 2006 and takes possession on March 31.
Grocon CEO Daniel Grollo welcomed the Government’s decision and said the company was now looking forward to getting on with design and construction.
“We will be moving on to the site next month and work will be underway by the end of the year,” he said.
The site will include a mix of commercial, residential and retail areas with about 30 per cent devoted to public open space.
The civic spine leading up Swanston Street from the Shrine of Remembrance will be celebrated and extended well into the site.
Coles has already committed to between 4000 and 6000 square metres of retail space in the development.
Following an architectural ideas competition last year, five architectural firms were chosen to design buildings –Ashton Raggatt McDougall, Denton Corker Marshall, Minifie Nixon, McBride Charles Ryan and NH Architecture.
Their buildings will range in height from 66 stories at the Victoria St end down to 11 stories at the Queensberry Street end.
Mr Grollo also announced an archaeological investigation will begin on site in May and will be conducted in conjunction with Heritage Victoria.
“We want to look at the use of the site over time,” he said. “We know there was a brewery on site from 1854 to 1989 but we’re unsure of what other uses the site has been subject to over the years.”
Mr Grollo also said Grocon had been in discussions with Fosters over ways of celebrating its previous association with the site. “We’ll continue those discussions as we’re very keen to preserve the history and heritage of Carlton Brewery,” he said.
RMIT University is also planning a Design Hub on the site at the corner of Swanston and Victoria Streets, with architect Sean Godsell currently working on that project.