8 Bouverie Street a giant amongst Melbourne development sites

The focal point of Carlton's former CUB Brewery site has been placed on the market after CEL Australia elected to move on the approved development scheme rather than develop the asset. Situated over 2,927sqm, yet part of the larger brewery site spanning an entire block, 8 Bouverie Street is the marquee portion of the urban renewal project.

Representing the largest permitted apartment development site offered for sale since 2013, 8 Bouverie Street was most recently covered by Urban Melbourne during August 2014. Initially known as 156-172 Victoria Street, the newly christened 8 Bouverie Street is offered with a massive 1,035 apartments, retail space plus 222 car and 378 bicycle spaces.

Conceived and subsequently refined by Elenberg Fraser, selling agent Colliers believes 8 Bouverie Street will be attractive to developers the world over due to its sheer size and landmark location. And it is this location behind the retained bluestone facade of the brewery which was earmarked for a landmark tower as early as 2007 when site purchaser Grocon instigated an overall site masterplan.

At 78 levels it will be the tallest tower within the northern reaches of Melbourne's skyline and highly recognisable given its position straddling the border between Melbourne and Carlton.

8 Bouverie Street. Image courtesy Colliers

What they say

This property is a genuine opportunity for developers on a world wide scale. We anticipate demand from local institutions and large scale developers from Australia and across the globe. It’s rare to be able to buy a site of this magnitude that is ready to be developed.

The location is prime, the timing is right with almost no competition with other large scale projects in the Melbourne CBD, and the residential market is strong. The site is situated right in the middle of Melbourne’s world renowned Melbourne University and RMIT campus precincts and, being on the doorstep of the Melbourne CBD, it remains distinctly residential.

Trent Hobart, Director of Development Sites, Colliers International

With the recent change of State Government, we expect to see the flow of approved planning permits become more moderated while the new government settles in. This will only serve to increase the value of approved permits to developers in the short to medium term, making opportunities such as this one at 8 Bouverie Street quite rare.

Bryson Cameron, Manager of Development Sites, Colliers International

Comment

The above statement is telling in that a certain level of ambiguity currently surrounds Victorian state planning, with new minister Richard Wynn on hiatus and changes flagged to the planning approvals process which point toward fewer larger towers gaining approval. Could it be that 8 Bouverie Street holds an ace in that it carries planning approval, while many other proposals (of which there are indeed many) may never be nothing more than paper developments?

Only one residential skyscraper of any note has been submitted for approval since the November 2014 state election; evidence that holiday period aside, developers look to be taking a more circumspect position toward seeking planning approval given the uncertainty in recent months.

If stature is determined by height and apartment numbers, 8 Bouverie Street heads the pack in terms of marquee Melbourne development sites; in due course the sales campaign result will be interesting on many levels.

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