Liberty Tower, 620 Collins Street Melbourne apartment block evacuated

Liberty Tower, 620 Collins Street Melbourne apartment block evacuated
Liberty Tower, 620 Collins Street Melbourne apartment block evacuated

The Liberty Tower apartment block at 620 Collins Street Melbourne has been evacuated by its residents early Sunday evening.

The apartment complex with around 240 units is located on the corner of Collins and Spencer streets, at the southern end of the CBD.

The building manager Carlo Innamorati is advising that the building has been hit by "severe electrical issues."

It is understood there are no lights, heating or working lifts. Nor the the lobby installation of continuous fluorescents suspended below the ceiling designed by the artist Stephen Bram.

It appears the basement was flooded which put the building's electricals at risk. It has been advised there was a burst water pipe.

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Liberty Tower, 620 Collins Street Melbourne apartment block evacuated

The 28 floor apartment complex Liberty Tower was built in 2002 to a design by Elenberg Fraser with its curved aluminium facade.

It was constructed by Mainland Properties/Pan Urban developer turned publisher Morry Schwartz, who moved into the penthouse with his wife, Anna, the owner of Anna Schwartz Gallery on Liberty Tower's completion while they renovated their Carlton home. 

It was described as an $110 million project. The project manager was Baracon Group and the builders were Abigroup Contractors, which was acquired by Bilfinger Berger in 2004.

There are suggestions the electricity has stopped working entirely and will not be fixed for another four days.

Property commentator and economist Philip Soos tweeted "residents will have to find other accommodation."

Located opposite Southern Cross Station, and The Age, 25 police were on scene tonight to help co-ordinate the evacuation of hundreds of residents on the coldest Melbourne day this year.

The most recent sale in the high-rise was a two bedroom eighth floor apartment at $520,000, which first sold in 2001 at $267,500. 

Over the holding time of nine years, the annual growth for was a disappointing 1.3 percent.

A ninth floor one bedder sold for $300,000 earlier this year having sold at $315,000 in 2014. It first sold in 2004 at $192,000.

Schwartz, the publisher of The Monthly and Saturday Paper, and his brother Danny recently sold the large retail site at its base, occupied by IGA for $21.55 million.

Liberty Tower was dubbed one of Melbourne’s millennial landmarks with 238 apartments occupying levels 7 to 27 with 3 levels of sub-penthouses plus one penthouse level. A secure 200 car park is located from podium to level 7. Around the perimeter at ground level there are shops, cafes and restaurants.

Its use of perforated metal balustrading, introduced by Elenberg Fraser was the precursor to Elenberg Fraser use of this type of façade on many future buildings.

The project become the first of many with Mainland and a long term relationship with Morry Schwartz, Brian Rule and Roger Hart who went to develop numerous Melbourne icons with the Baracon/Elenberg Fraser combination. 

620 Collins Street Faulty Apartment Block

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