Former Royal Saxon Hotel, Melbourne, May be Replaced With Major Apartment Tower

ANOTHER proposal has been lodged that is so large that decision-making power bypasses council to rest with Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

This time, on land behind the historic former Royal Saxon Hotel at 441-447 Elizabeth Street, and affecting an adjoining property at 449 Elizabeth Street, a developer plans to develop a 50-level residential tower with 306 flats but just 119 car park bays.

The property was recently identified in the Melbourne City Council’s central heritage review as worthy of protection, being one of the oldest surviving buildings of its type.

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Another College to Make Way For Apartments, Melbourne

THE new owners of a disused city college near the Queen Victoria Market in the Melbourne CBD have lodged an application which would more than doubles the size of a proposed apartment tower approved by council just four months ago.

If permitted, the former Carrick Education College, on a battle-axe shaped site at 48 – 50 A’Beckett Street could make way for a 39-level tower rising 121 metres, and distinguished by a 40-metre podium at street level.

The new proposal would replace a permit issued in April by the City of Melbourne to redevelop the 723 square metre block into an 18-level apartment building rising 60 metres. This permit was issued after council rejected another application, lodged in November 2010 and for a 45-level tower, based on height and setback.

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Skinny Skyscraper to Replace Historic La Trobe Street Building, Melbourne

IT’S not just developers pushing Melbourne’s planning limits.

Entrepreneurs who earn their living outside of real estate are also dreaming up the city’s next landmark towers – cashing in on Melbourne’s trifecta of a booming population, the need to create construction jobs and a so-called collapse in housing affordability.

This time, at 36 – 40 La Trobe Street, lawyer and migration agent Konfir Kabo is proposing to demolish the historic low-rise GMK House building and replace it with one of Melbourne’s skinniest residential skyscrapers.

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End of the Road For Naval and Military Club Building

IT MUST be with a great deal of despondency former members of the recently defunct Naval & Military Club “keep under surveillance” what is happening at their former headquarters, at 27 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.

The mission-brown building was sold by receivers to Chinese developers during the economic downturn, and after a series of legal disputes prevented the NMC organising a joint venture partner to redevelop the site into a club room, hotel and apartment tower.

NMC’s proposed redevelopment was expected to save its future – and indeed give it an income stream which could have allowed it to grow.

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Clement Lee’s Riverlea to Build Apartment Complex at 108 Flinders Street Melbourne

HERITAGE Victoria noted artwork at the ground level of a nondescript, low-rise office building at 108 Flinders Street will be moved, and reinstalled into the ground level of the city’s next major apartment building.

Fender Katsalidis Architects, a boutique architect collaboration headed by designers Karl Fender and Nonda Katsalidis, have proposed a new tower for the site which would offer views of Birrarung Marr, Federation Square and the Flinders Street rail yards – another city site earmarked for redevelopment.

Rising 12 levels, and due for completion in 2012 the development will include 189 apartments starting at $345,000 for a one bedroom unit and $535,000 for a two bedroom flat.

The proposal will see a new restaurant built at the end of AC/DC Lane, which this site backs onto.

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Apartments at Naval and Military Club Redevelopment Hit the Market

THE Paris end of the Melbourne CBD is set to see the construction of a new apartment skyscraper.

The former Naval & Military Club at 27 Little Collins Street will be demolished and replaced with a 32-level tower, targeting two types of high-end buyers.

Levels 15 to 25 of the new building will include 142 apartments priced from $385,000 for a one-bedroom, and $580,000 for two-bedroom apartments.

Larger, luxury apartments will be developed between levels 26 and 30, where one bedroom flats start at $590,000 and two-bedroom apartments, from $1.087 million.

A penthouse occupies the highest floors, while the lowest 14-levels will trade as a hotel, flanked by ground floor shops.

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WD O’Donnell Building, West Melbourne, to be Sold With Permit

ANOTHER historic factory on the CBD fringe is set to make way for an apartment tower, after being listed for sale with a permit.

The W D O’Donnell building at 33 – 43 Batman Street, in West Melbourne, near the Flagstaff Gardens, is for sale with a VCAT-approved permit for a 14-storey tower, with 135 units.

CVA Commercial director Anthony Carbone expects about $8 million for the site, which is being offloaded by Joe Salvo, the brother of Delta-Europcar founder turned property developer Mario.

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Morry Schwartz sells CBD apartment site

DEVELOPER Morry Schwartz has sold a residential development site he couldn’t get developed, at the top end of the Melbourne CBD.

Singapore-based construction and property giant Chip Eng Seng Corp is reported to have paid $20.2 million for the 1857 square metre site at 27 – 39 Mackenzie Street, which had a permit for a 32-level, 388 unit apartment complex (pictured).

Morry Schwart’z company Pan Urban paid $10.8 million for the site in 2008, then subsequently marketed a complex, before eventually listing it for sale.

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