It has become increasing difficult to decipher the status of the many towers beyond 200 metres that are or are intending to stake their place in the Melbourne skyline. While 568 Collins Street is at completion and a handful of others are in their construction infancy, a veil of uncertainty hangs above many intended developments.
The recent implementation of sweeping new planning regulations has cast doubt over many of the proposals which are both at planning and intended. Indeed the number of towers that Urban Melbourne has identified for Melbourne beyond the 200 metre mark is ranging somewhere between 25 and 35; such is the uncertainty within the industry at the moment.
Only those close to each and every application know the status of their projects, and few are willing to comment at this time. Below is a current status of all 200 metre plus developments as best gleaned by Urban Melbourne:
No doubt surrounds these projects, with construction progress on the following: EQ Tower, Victoria One, Light House, Vision. Vision is the most advanced as it's rapidly approaching the 200 metre construction mark while the others have quite a way to go.
Joining the list at construction is Australia 108 which Urban Melbourne reported last week as officially gaining Brookfield Multiplex as head contractor; works are due to begin onsite next month. Aurora Melbourne Central also has Probuild installed as its builder, with preliminary site demolition works having commenced for the sizeable tower.
A handful of projects beyond 200 metres hold planning approval and are at sales, seemingly free from the new interim building controls that look likely to derail a number of proposals that have not been lodged.
Swanston Central is at sales, set to make a notable difference to the city's northern skyline while Elysium Southbank is poised to launch its sales campaign for the highly distinctive BKK-designed edifice. Premier Tower opposite Southern Cross Station is full steam ahead with project architect Elenberg Fraser suggesting works will begin onsite during March 2016.
The situation becomes decidedly more murky from this point (at least from a public perspective), with more questions than answers for the remaining batch of 200 metre plus towers. Tower Melbourne and 97 Franklin Street for example both hold planning approval but are no certainty to proceed.
It's been said that for differing reasons both may need to reapply for a planning permit and subject to the new planning controls may not receive approval in anywhere near their current form. Tower Melbourne in particular would be hoping to avoid this following the protracted legal dispute with its neighbouring land owner.
This leaves as many as seventeen 200 metre towers at planning, with the outcome of each as yet publicly unknown. The status of 293-303 La Trobe Street and 63 Exhibition Street is unknown; both of which are still active on the GreenLight online register while 555 Collins Street, 1 Queensbridge Street and 180 Russell Street remain active applications after having been at planning for considerable periods of time.
Word has it that 32-44 Flinders Street is headed for VCAT, leaving more recent submissions such as 295 City Road, 295-309 King Street, 640 Bourke Street, 350 Queen Street, 280 Queen Street and 93-119 Kavanagh Street to traverse the planning process. Further applications at 111-125 A'Beckett Street, 183-189 A'Beckett Street, 478 Elizabeth Street and 71-87 City Road are also in play.
260 La Trobe Street shaped as a likely tower with a preliminary assessment in front of CASA that seemingly has not entered state planning prior to the new interim controls, possibly rendering the intended 260 metre tower invalid; it remains to be seen what will come of the proposal.
All in all there will be a none too small change to Melbourne skyline in the next handful of years. The scope of this change remains to be seen, but it's not beyond the realms of possibility that a further 20-25 towers beyond the 200 metre mark will sprout skyward soon enough.
This article has been updated to remove images relating to 245 City Road. The original information was incorrect.