A Review of Melbourne Apartment Projects: Those Marketed; Those Canned

INCENTIVES offered to stimulate apartment construction during the economic downturn, such as record low interest rates, and first home owner grants, have resulted in some of the city’s biggest, boldest apartment-based projects being offered to the market.

But not all developers could get their projects out of the ground.

Domain took a look at some of the more ambitious redevelopment proposals launched, and canned, since its last Apartment Guide, in Spring 2010:

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Out With The Old at Phillip Island

THE owners of a 26-hectare Phillip Island farm, until three years ago owned by AMP Capital Investors and earmarked to become a retirement village, have applied to Bass Coast Shire Council to remove the entire aged-care component of the proposal.

The owner of the site paid AMP a reported $8 million for the Ventnor Road block and a permit for a 184-lot residential subdivision.

A major aged-care complex and community facilities were required to be developed as part of that permit. However, the council will now decide on whether to issue a new permit resulting in the entire farm, about three kilometres south-west of the centre of Cowes, being subdivided into 304 standard residential lots.

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Grocon to Sell Sydney CBD Assets

MELBOURNE-based builder Grocon will sell its Sydney headquarters, and an adjoining building that accommodates drinking institution the Belgian Beer Cafe. The two properties, set to fetch about $10 million, are surplus to the company’s needs, now it has restructured. Grocon plans to focus more on its own development activities, and less on third-party construction, according

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Grocon Consortium Gets Started Building Sydney CBD’s Next Skyscraper

EXECUTIVES met at a big pile of dirt in the Sydney CBD, to mark the site which will become that city’s next major skyscraper.

Grocon plans to build an $800 million, 43-level, 54,000 square metre building at the site – which it was announced would have two addresses: 161 Castlereagh Street, and 242 Pitt Street.

Law firm Freehills will access the Castlereagh Street entrance, while bank ANZ will occupy Pitt Street.

The building will be owned by GPT’s Wholesale Office Fund, Grocon and LaSalle Asia Opportunity Fund III, upon completion.

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Plans Lodged to Subdivide Historic Phillip Island Homestead

ANOTHER establishment family is lobbying to slice and dice their substantial holiday home retreat.

This time, on Phillip Island, the Grollo family have submitted plans to subdivide the historic eight hectare estate, Woolamai House (pictured, right), which was built in 1876 for wealthy hotelier and horse trainer John Cleeland and is one of Victoria’s oldest coastal homesteads.

Woolamai House includes an Italianite Gothic mansion and gardens with heritage plantings abutting the Cape Woolamai foreshore, all of which are included on the Victorian Heritage Register.

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Grocon Unveils Carbon Neutral, Wooden Inner-City Apartment Complex

MELBOURNE based developer Grocon has unveiled plans for a carbon neutral apartment complex built entirely from timber.

The complex, Delta (pictured, right) will be developed on the former Carlton United Brewery site, on the Carlton-CBD suburb border.

Delta will include 50 flats, and be one storey taller than a similar tall timber structure, the Stadthaus in Hackney, East London, which currently holds the title as the tallest building of its type in the world.

Copied below is a Grocon statement about Delta:

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Grocon Proposes 90-Level Skyscraper For Disused CUB Site, Carlton

THE Melbourne CBD skyline will have a Eureka of the north, if a proposed 90-storey skyscraper is granted approval, on part of the former Carlton and United Brewery site, in Carlton, and on the cusp of the city grid.

The building will include 800 apartments and soar 280 metres, making it slightly shorter than the landmark Eureka tower, in Southbank – which rises 89 levels and has 550 apartments.

Dubbed by developer Grocon as the DCM building, in honour of architect firm Denton Corker Marshall, the land had originally been earmarked to become an office building, before the economic downturn.

Grocon owns a majority of the undeveloped site, hidden behind bluestone walls. It bought the 1.6 hectare site from RMIT for $39 million in 2006. RMIT retained a small portion of the block.

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Major Retailers Commit to Grocon’s CUB Redevelopment, Melbourne

RETAILERS Coles, Dan Murphy, Dick Smith and Kmart have been confirmed as leasing space at Grocon’s $600 million redevelopment of the CUB brewery site, at the suburb border of Carlton and the Melbourne CBD.

During the economic downturn, the developer announced it would redevelop the site into a predominanntly residential project – changes original plans, which were speculaetd to look more like QV, and include offices.

Four buildings within the first stage of the new development are expected to be marketed at the end of the year.

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Grocon, APN to Develop Scots Church Carpark, Melbourne CBD

Scots ChuchTHE on-again-off-again plan to redevelop the car park behind the Scots Church, in the Melbourne CBD, is on again.

Grocon and joint venture partner APN Property Group are planning to build a $150 million, 20,000 square metre office on the site of a car park behind the heritage listed church, at the corner of Russell and Collins streets.

The building will have a street address of 150 Collins Street, despite facing Russell Street.

Elsewhere in the area CBus Property is planning to redevelop 171 Collins Street into a $280 million office and retail complex.

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Docklands Next Retail Strip Taking Shape

THE inner-city’s next retail strip is slowly taking shape in Docklands.

Equiset, the development company owned and managed by the Grollo family, has filled about 1800 square metres, or six stores, at the ground level of Village Street, a thoroughfare connecting Bourke and Collins streets.

The western side of Village Street includes the 12-level A-grade office building that is now home to National Foods. The eastern side of the street, is the Goods Shed building, which is currently being refitted into boutique office space.

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