Lower Density Design to Replace Site Abutting Melbourne’s Tower of Power

SOME of Melbourne’s most influential businessmen, including active Liberal Party supporters, have defeated a developer’s plan to build a 29-level skyscraper which would have blocked Port Phillip Bay views enjoyed from apartments they own or occupy in a prestigious complex next-door.

New images affecting a site at 35 Albert Road, and to be marketed as The Emerald, Melbourne, show a 19-level, 282 unit residential project (pictured, above), which will rise no higher than 60 metres.

The proposal replaces a higher density, 420-unit application (pictured, above, right) which was the subject of a high profile development dispute in 2010.

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Development Site Opposite South Melbourne Market Expected to Fetch About $20 Million

AN OWNER-occupier that controls a massive 4287 square metre property opposite the South Melbourne Market has publicly listed it for sale.

The Novak Prestige Motor Works site at the north-west corner of York and Cecil streets, in South Melbourne (aerial, right), is an amalgamation of several adjoining properties. Panel beater and painter Novak purchased the first site in 1965, acquiring another seven over a 45-year period.

Effectively a development site, and being offered with an extended settlement, the property is expected to arouse interest from builders, or land bankers which may onsell all or part of it at a more buoyant time of the market, possibly with permits.

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SachsenFonds Expected to Make Small Loss Selling South Melbourne Office

GERMAN based SachsenFonds is hoping to break-even from the sale of a major inner-city office it bought three years ago for $137 million – $22 million more than its then book value.

The 11-level glass office at 209 Kingsway (pictured), on the south-east corner of Dorcas Street is built on the site of the South Melbourne tram depot.

Private investor Clement Lee purchased the entire tram depot site from the Kennett government in 1997 for $18 million.

The day after settlement, Mr Lee famously sold a portion to residential developer Central Equity for $18 million. The 9,632 square metre balance sold to Multiplex for $20 million.

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Lend Lease Expecting $120 Million From Sale of Docklands Office

PROPERTY giant Lend Lease is expecting about $120 million from the sale of an as-yet-incomplete office in Melbourne’s Docklands – a near new city, effectively, on disused industrial land abutting the western edge of the CBD.

The 17,000 square metre office recently secured engineering firm Aurecon as an anchor tenant for 9500 square metres. Aurecom was formerly known as Connell Wagner

The building is due for completion in the second half of 2012.

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Hamton Dodges High Rise Development Dispute

AND so all eyes turn to 50 Albert Road, in South Melbourne, after the decision this week by new planning minister Matthew Guy to reject a 29-level, 88-metre proposal across the road at #35, based on height.

Hamton Property Group is planning to build a 28-level, 89-metre tower on its site at 42 – 50 Albert Road, having marketed the project, Fifty Albert, since the middle of last year.

Both the Asia-based owner of 35 Albert Road, and Hamton, paid about $15.5 million for their respective South Melbourne sites last April.

Hamton’s site was purchased with a permit for a 220-dwelling apartment complex. However it shrunk the size of the units so that 294 flats could fit within the approved building’s shell.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal approved that major amendment last August.

By comparison the owner of 35 Albert Road proposed 420 apartments within an 88 metre tower. Another tower of similar height is proposed at 60 Albert Road, too.

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Overseas Owner Occupier Pays Southern Cross Broadcasting $6 Million For its Outgoing South Melbourne Headquarters

AN OVERSEAS owner-occupier is believed to have paid Southern Cross Broadcasting a speculated $6 million for its outgoing office at 70 Park Street, in South Melbourne.

The vacant 1415 square metre building, on a 768 square metre block between Kings Way and St Kilda Road was put to the market after Southern Cross decided to relocate to the CBD.

With 21 car parks, the site was expected to find its way into the hands of a residential developer.

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Evolve Developmenet Acquires Former Channel Seven Office and Proposes $190 Million Guilfoyle Tower

Ron WalkerEVOLVE Development, the burgeoning Melbourne-based builder spearheaded by ex-Fairfax chairman Ron Walker, and business partner Ashley Williams, will develop its largest project to date in South Melbourne.

The developer is believed to have paid Westpac Funds Management about $15 million for the 35 – 47 Coventry Street development site once occupied by Channel Seven as its head office.

Westpac acquired the asset after builder St Hilliers, which bought the site from Seven in 2003, drafted a residential conversion plan for the disused office, but never proceeded with building it.

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