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melbourne's picture
#52

Singapore's Aspial unveils plans for 388m Southbank skyscraper
BEN WILMOT THE AUSTRALIAN JANUARY 23, 2014 8:32AM

SINGAPORE'S Aspial Corporation has unveiled plans to build Melbourne's tallest skyscraper after striking a deal to buy a development site in the city's Southbank district for $42.3 million.

The tower will overlook the Yarra River and house upmarket apartments and boutique office space, with the top floor to be made accessible to the public.

Melbourne's tallest skyscraper is Eureka Tower, which stands at 297 metres and is just a few blocks from the planned Aspial property.

"We are truly humbled, yet excited to be involved in this monumental project. It is certainly a groundbreaking milestone for Aspial to play a part in the development of the tallest skyscraper in Melbourne, which will soon lend its compelling presence skyline," Aspial chief executive Koh Wee Seng said.

The Singapore-listed developer wants the tower to stand among the world's most iconic, citing Shanghai's World Financial Centre and Oriental Pearl Tower in China, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office in Japan, and Marina Bay Sands SkyPark in Singapore, as similar projects.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/singapores-aspial-unve...

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Qantas743's picture
#53

Can't work out if it's a total redesign or just shifting things around in the existing envelope.

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Mark Baljak's picture
#54

FIRB approves acquisition of Australia 108 site

The Foreign Investment Review Board has approved Singaporean property developer World Class Land’s acquisition of the Australia 108 site on Melbourne’s Southbank for $42.3 million plus GST.

World Class Land, a subsidiary of the Aspial Corporation, acquired the site from a development consortium that includes architect Nonda Katsalidis and developer Benni Aroni.

A 388 metre tower was originally approved for the site, but plans have since been scaled back over concerns about infringing air space and exceeding maximum height restrictions for the area.

FIRB approval was granted on January 20 after contracts were exchanged in December. Settlement will take place on March 24.

Prepatory work has started on the project with a campaign to sell apartments in the tower to be launched later in the year.

It will include an international hotel, with an expression of interest campaign for international operators concluding in December 2013 and application is now being assessed.

Mr Aroni said that, contrary to media reports, the site was not on the market formally or informally, but that in late December, “several unexpected approaches to purchase the site were made to me from both local and international companies and ultimately an offer was received which was attractive enough for us to consider selling the site”.

“It all happened very, very quickly and was subject to confidentiality clauses, so we were not able to disclose the sale to anyone, until now”, Mr Aroni said.

EXPANDING INTEREST
Wee Seng Koh, CEO of Aspial Corp, said: “We are very pleased with our purchase of this premium site, which adds to the development portfolio in Australia we have already acquired. We plan to continue to develop Australia 108 as Melbourne’s tallest and most significant residential and commercial tower, with a launch planned for 2014.”

The Australia 108 consortium includes Nonda Katsalidis, whose firm Fender Katsalidis designed the tower; investor Adrian Valmorbida; developer Benni Aroni representing the Watersun syndicate made up of himself, Gary Caulfield, Rob Elliott and others; and the Beulah International syndicate representing the Malaysian partners.

The sale was negotiated by CBRE’s Mark Wizel and Josh Rutman.

“The sale of 70 Southbank Boulevard is a landmark transaction as it demonstrates that the interest from Asian-based developers in Melbourne opportunities is widening beyond the traditional confines of the CBD,” Mr Wizel said.

The sale of 70 Southbank Boulevard follows a spate of development site transactions in Southbank including the recent sale of the Hannover House building at 158 City Road, which was sold by Sam Alter for $22.5 million to a new mainland Chinese developer.

Private investor Sam Suleman recently offloaded a nearby site at 25 Queensbridge Street opposite Crown Casino for $31 million, with Australand also selling its last remaining holding at 38 Freshwater Place for $30 million to prominent Malaysian hotel developer Michael Kum.

“These recent sales are a clear illustration of the depth of interest in these Southbank sites, with purchasers originating from Malaysia, Singapore, mainland China as well locally based developers”, Mr Wizel said.

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drunkill's picture
#55

Kind of hoping the new owners bring onboard a new design. They have the permit, they can do what they want with the site but seeming it is now a new mob doing it all you'd think they might want to put their idea to the world instead of someone elses.

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Mark Baljak's picture
#56
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Laurence Dragomir's picture
#57

Have to update my model again. Slightly better.

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Qantas743's picture
#58

Hopefully that's the old redesign they intended to build before Aspial bought the site.

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melbourne's picture
#59

I think there is still a decent chance what gets built will differ from the render above - in particular whether the hotel component goes ahead may still influence the design of the 'starburst' feature which is meant to be the hotel lobby right?

Makes sense why the design appeared on Baracon's website in December now prior to any real information...

Offshore buyers snap up Melbourne landmarks
January 24, 2014
Carolyn Cummins

Singaporean developer World Class Land, a subsidiary of Aspial Corporation, has confirmed it paid $42.3 million for the Southbank tower Australia 108 hotel and apartment complex in Melbourne.

It is the latest sale to overseas interests and agents are expecting more deals, boosted by the lower Australian dollar and favourable financing conditions.

On Wednesday, the private Chinese investor Fu Wah International made its first significant foray into the local Australian property market with the purchase of Melbourne's landmark Park Hyatt hotel.

It was understood the price paid was about $135 million, but the agents declined to comment.

The new owners of Australia 108 have an approval to build up to 312 metres, after the project was forced to scale back from 388 metres to avoid the emergency flight path into Essendon airport.

The chief executive of Aspial, Wee Seng Koh, said his group was reviewing plans, which originally included apartments, a hotel and some retail. He was still interested in a mixed-use aspect of the project.

People who have registered interest in an Australia 108 apartment will be contacted with an update on designs for the tower once plans are advanced.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/offshore-buyers-snap-up-melbourn...

Also got this email:
You may have seen media reports today confirming the sale of the Australia 108 site to Singaporean developer Aspial Corporation. At this point we felt it appropriate for us to contact you personally to give you a formal update on the project.

Until the offer from Aspial was received, we the developers were fully committed to proceeding with the pre-sales campaign and construction stage of this landmark project. We had a full suite of the best available consultants continuing their work on design development, and the process for selecting a hotel operator was well advanced. We were very much looking forward to presenting our finalised vision to you around April of 2014. Just before Christmas, however, we were unexpectedly approached by Aspial Corporation with an offer to buy which was simply too attractive to refuse, and thus we have sold the site complete with the current planning permit.

We have now met with the purchaser’s team on several occasions and believe Aspial will continue with similar plans to ours for the site, with chief executive of Aspial Corporation, Wee Seng Koh, quoted as saying: "We plan to continue to develop Australia 108 as Melbourne’s tallest and most significant residential and commercial tower, with a launch planned for 2014.” Current indications suggest that the team with which you have registered an interest will remain largely intact, albeit now under the direction of Aspial. The vision of Karl Fender and Nonda Katsalidis will be preserved and quite possibly enhanced by the introduction of Aspial and their team.

On behalf of the development partners, we would like to thank you again for registering your interest in Australia 108. We would also like to assure you that we have advised the purchaser of your initial interest, and urged them to share their revised plans when appropriate and invite you to consider an acquisition. You will of course have total discretion as to whether you retain any further interest at this or any future point in time.

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Fedsquared's picture
#60

Looking up again

Speculation is rife a landmark super-scraper will be unveiled soon by the new owners of a Southbank site that last year was to have accommodated the ambitious Australia 108 building.
Sources expect a tower, possibly of about 310 metres, or about 100 levels, will be lodged for the 70 Southbank Boulevard site, which sold to Singapore developer World Class Land for $42.3 million in January.
A more ambitious 388-metre, 108-level proposal was approved last year.
That application subsequently was withdrawn because of Essendon Airport airspace restrictions state government planners had not factored in.
Architects subsequently said that, with Melbourne's sky having a limit, the country's first 100-level-plus buildings were not being put forward, despite demand.
The 92-level Eureka building in Southbank is Melbourne's tallest skyscraper, rising 297 metres.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/churchs-sights-low-on-highpotential-trian...

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melbourne's picture
#61

Please please please be something new/awesome

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Mark Baljak's picture
#62

reliably informed of the new design's height, for those wanting a supertall...

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MelbourneGuy's picture
#63

I'm ok with whatever height they come out with but I just hope they redesign the building from the ground up. The original design was somewhat clumsy imo.

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Qantas743's picture
#64

I believe the new design may still be loosely based on the original one but don't quote me on that.

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Qantas743's picture
#65
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Laurence Dragomir's picture
#66

SOUTHBANK | Australia 108 | 70 Southbank Blvd | 319m | Mixed Use

 

SOUTHBANK | Australia 108 | 70 Southbank Blvd | 319m | Mixed Use

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Mark Baljak's picture
#67

a marked improvement and close enough in height for Far East Consortium to deliver a taller scheme on the Age site if the so desire bragging rights

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MelbourneGuy's picture
#68

I wouldn't say a great design but nevertheless better than the previous one.

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Martin Mankowski's picture
#69

No more purple! :(

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melbourne's picture
#70

Definitely an improvement from the old design, complements Eureka a bit better too.

Anyone know how it's crept up to 319m after all the talk of 312m?

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Qantas743's picture
#71

They realised they could go up to 10m higher than they originally thought apparently.

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melbourne's picture
#72

Interesting..

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danke's picture
#73

I like it, think it looks sleeker without the purple.

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Purple Dawn's picture
#74

Liking this a lot. The curves are gorgeous, and as others have said, it will complement Eureka. The only downside are the viewing areas. Those protrusions, yellow at that, are downright ugly. Also good to know that MG, et al, are now actively pushing the Feds to change those passe, restrictive, anti-growth bovine excrement aviation regulations.

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drunkill's picture
#75

I like the eastern view, slender and tall, the north-eastern view is a little chubby. I think, like Eureka, those two side protrusions need to be differing heights, if only by a few levels, it'd help.

It's no Pearl, but I'll take it.

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troy's picture
#76

At least this new design has a real roof height instead of an antenna or spire because even though an antenna or spire is included in a buildings height (nothing wrong with a spire or triangular roof as i do like them also) to me a buildings true height is really at roof height (a flat roof) so this will make it truly Australias tallest building by roof height by far.

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