Tower Melbourne stuck in demolition dispute, so 556 off the plan contracts cancelled

Tower Melbourne stuck in demolition dispute, so 556 off the plan contracts cancelled
Tower Melbourne stuck in demolition dispute, so 556 off the plan contracts cancelled

Delayed demolition works in the Melbourne CBD after an objection by the owner, have triggered the sales of 556 off the plan apartment buyers being cancelled by its Singapore-based developer.

Developer Chip Eng Seng bought a commercial tower at 150 Queen Street in 2011 with plans for a 71 storey project, known as Tower Melbourne.

It has become one of the first cancelled buildings in Melbourne, with the group now considering its options for the thwarted site.

The decision, announced to the stock exchange in Singapore, comes amid the broader local concerns about the mooted outlook for apartment market oversupply.

Demolition works on the original building have stalled since 2013 after an objection by the owner of an adjoining property at 140 Queen Street worried the demolition might damage its property.

Chip Eng Seng said the legal cases “may still take a considerable period of time” and it was “not possible for the company to ascertain when they can be resolved” nor when demolition could restart.

The group could not meet its deadline to register the plan of subdivision due to the delay, so advised the appropriate course was to terminate all sales contracts.

Some 579 units had been sold, but some buyers had already cancelled their contracts due to the delay.

Some 556 contracts remained with full buyers’ deposits set to be repaid in full with any interest accrued.

Construction of Melbourne’s envisaged highest residential tower was due to start in 2013 with an expected completion date of late 2016.

The CEL development was to come with a 25-metre pool, spa, sauna, steam room and a gym.

One-bedroom apartments in Tower Melbourne had a starting price of $381,000.

Two-bedroom apartments start from $492,000 and three-bedroom apartments start from $763,000.

The skyscraper had been designed by local architects Elenberg Fraser.

Tower Melbourne is a city defining project,” says Callum Fraser, principal of Elenberg Fraser said at the time of its launch.

“If you take a high-rise tower and add a twist, we have a continuously evolving form and the result is a luxurious living sculpture,” he said.

Property Observer first reported on the problematic development in October 2012 when the Singapore developer was selling apartments, despite not yet receiving planning approval from then Victoria Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Off the plan Melbourne CBD

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