Southbank's densest block to become even denser?

CBRE in recent weeks has begun marketing a development site at 118 City Road in Southbank which has been branded as 'Flagship'.

The 6,191sqm site is currently home to a BMW dealership and showroom, and has significant potential to add to what is set to become on of the densest city blocks in Melbourne, boasting towers of 200m through to over 300m.

The site is located close ro both the 297m Eureka Tower and the under construction 319m Australia 108, and is on the same block as One Queensbridge which holds approval at 323m .

The Southbank and site in question at 118 City Road.

For the purposes of marketing the site's potential, CBRE have engaged Fender Katsalidis to produce an indicative concept for dual towers of varied heights. The concept looks to be loosely based on Fender Katsalidis' other twin tower design for 308 Exhibition Street.

This is illustrated in the night montage below which shows the towers linked by a skybridge.

Applying the planning scheme's plot ratio of 18:1 yields a GFA of 111,438sqm, with the conceptual scheme seeking a GFA of 148,127 sqm or a plot ratio of 24:1.

One possible scenario as marketed by CBRE. Image: CBRE

Any prospective purchaser is not obligated to proceed with the scheme as indicated above. As such I've decided to produce a couple of quick test scenarios in 3D for your viewing pleasure beginning with the Fender Katsalidis option (or one that is very similar).

The alternate scenario shown below sees 118 City Road and 158 City Road consolidated into a mega site similar to what Crown and Schiavello achieved with One Queensbridge. This roughly 7,062sqm site would be able to accommodate a 127,116sqm GFA development at an 18:1 ratio. 

This scenario is a bit more complicated because it deals with Floor Area Uplift, but essentially uses the provision of public open space and commercial space both classified as public benefits under the planning scheme to achieve another 300m tower.

With the block being as dense as it is and projected to become even denser, I believe a better outcome for both 118 City Road and 158 City Road is to consolidate 3 towers into one larger tower, with a second mid-rise office building in tow. This layout addresses the issues of privacy and adjacency between existing and proposed towers, whilst also providing better access to natural light and ventilation simply by having a taller tower located more centrally on the site.

All up the scheme would deliver 136,000 sqm GFA at a plot ratio of 19.25:1, plus a new pocket park which would connect to the City of Melbourne's Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street Renewal project. A new retail laneway bisecting the site with opportunity to eventually connect through to Freshwater Place would also be considered beneficial to Southbank.

Applying a plot ratio of 24:1 as per the Fender Katsalidis scheme would result in Melbourne's tallest building.

Interesting times ahead for the site that has been billed as 'Flagship'.


Luke's picture

Great model Laurence!

Perhaps you should be marketing the project instead of CBRE who offer deceiving proposals that aren't even possible

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db2's picture

The models are amazing Laurence. Great stuff.

Please please let this be a 290m+ tower, the short scheme totally gets lost in the forest. The taller model looks so much better.

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tiankd74's picture

That is far too crowded! Based on current off the plan market situation, not many developers would have ability to take it and get it sold and settled.

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Marcio Wilges's picture

At the rate that things are going, it won't be long before the city will start being overpopulated the way that other cities are - Hong Kong and New York and Singapore. It's not a surprise that property per square foot is getting more expensive, but certainly we can do something about living standards so that we don't squeeze too many people into one area!

Marcio Wilges

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