A synopsis of Melbourne's 200 metre plus towers produces a startling number

A synopsis of Melbourne's 200 metre plus towers produces a startling number
A synopsis of Melbourne's 200 metre plus towers produces a startling number

With more ins and outs than your favourite football team, it's an opportune time to provide a synopsis of all the towers vying to, or in the process of joining the Melbourne's 200 metre club. Much has changed since the last time Urban.com.au visited the matter during August 2014; new projects are seeking their place in the skyline while others have fallen by the wayside.

Rather than provide a simple list of those projects beyond 200 metres which are at varying stages of the development cycle, all projects are noted below according to their current status.

Hitting the heights

Following the completion of Prima-Pearl on Southbank, Melbourne theoretically sees eight projects in excess of 200 metres currently at construction; theoretically being the term of choice.

The sorry saga of Tower Melbourne continues with its onsite tower crane now dormant for well over a year. Although the legal wranglings surrounding the project look to have been settled, the site is anything but buzzing with activity. Also theoretically at construction is 250 Spencer Street which under the guidance of St Kilda Road-based Far East Consortium has approval for four towers in excess of 200 metres. Following demolition completion, Brookfield Multiplex now have signage across the site with early works poised to begin.

Hong Kong-based parent company Far East Consortium International Limited has new renderings of the quartet of towers on their website, with the Melbourne's new Ritz-Carlton taking the most prominent position.

A synopsis of Melbourne's 200 metre plus towers produces a startling number
250 Spencer Street featuring Ritz-Carlton. Image courtesy FECIL

The remaining six projects are at varying stages of construction. EQ Tower, Light House, Victoria One, Vision, 568 Collins Street and Melbourne tallest building, Australia 108 are keeping Melbourne's biggest builders occupied. These projects are soon to be joined by Aurora Melbourne Central which will see demolition begin next month in preparation for the hulking tower to begin its journey skyward.

A synopsis of Melbourne's 200 metre plus towers produces a startling number
Vision moving on up. Image courtesy Ryan Setchell

Approved but not yet at sales

A synopsis of Melbourne's 200 metre plus towers produces a startling number
M & L Hospitality's Power Street development. Image courtesy mnlth.com

M&L Hospitality have new signage across 25-35 Power Street signifying their intention to proceed with the 273 metre mixed-use tower designed by Metier 3. Carrying the above render on their website, M&L Hospitality show the tower to have hotel rooms across levels 57-71 with a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom residential apartments below.

Project amenities will include a roof top Sky Bar on Level 73 as well as a pool and spa on level 72. The developer which is also undertaking a large expansion of its Four Points by Sheraton at Darling Harbour in Sydney, will see its new Melbourne project create 800 full time construction jobs over the build and 175-200 direct hotel jobs when completed.

A synopsis of Melbourne's 200 metre plus towers produces a startling number
380 Lonsdale Street. Image courtesy Elenberg Fraser

Hengyi have recently snapped up 8 Bouverie Street with scope for 1,035 dwellings, while Elysium on Southbank is taking registrations of interest for what will become one of Melbourne's more fascinating buildings upon completion. 97 Franklin Street and 380 Lonsdale Street also hold approval with the latter to include an Aloft Hotel.

A pain in the ass-essment

The landscape has changed with a new State Government signalling a tougher stance on development in and around Melbourne. Here are the projects beyond 200 metres which have yet to gain a final planning approval… or may never gain it.

A synopsis of Melbourne's 200 metre plus towers produces a startling number
32 Flinders and 158 City Road. Images courtesy SJB and Elenberg Fraser

First glimpses of two as yet unseen proposals, namely Dexus' 32-44 Flinders Street and EIPD's 158 City Road. The former seeks a 212 metre SJB-designed structure with 595 apartments in addition to 30 SoHo living options. 158 City Road on the other hand largely conforms to the previously approved envelope, albeit expanded to 218 metres and with 722 apartments included.

Fresh applications to the 200 metre club include Fig Tree Holdings' unseen 293-303 La Trobe Street which has gone to planning during April. At 67 levels it will likely to weigh in at approximately 210 metres while carrying 370 apartments. Only last week 350 Queen Street was unveiled at a maximum height of 268 metres with Queens Place its likely moniker. Developer 3L Alliance is also proposing a second tower onsite which looks to be beyond the 200 metre mark.

Nine other towers at the planning assessment stage find themselves beyond the 200 metre threshold. Covered at one point or another on Urban.com.au, they include 280 Queen Street, 295 City Road, 1 Queensbridge Street, 295 King Street, 555 Collins Street, 180 Russell Street, 134 Spencer Street, 85-93 Lorimer Street and 63 Exhibition Street.

Change is a constant when projects are at planning, as is the policy that surrounds them; there remains the likelihood that a number of the projects listed above will be revised downward in scale.

​Coming up short

What of the projects that have regressed or are just short of the 200 metre benchmark? They too require mention based upon their sheer numbers.

Three previously submitted proposals substantially beyond the 200 metre mark have been altered in favour of shortened outcomes. Of 334-344 City Road, 54-64 A'Beckett Street, and the much hyped 447 Collins Street, the shortest tower was to have been 265 metres. 447 Collins Street at 297 metres will now make way for dual 194 metre towers according to Cbus Property.

A synopsis of Melbourne's 200 metre plus towers produces a startling number
Oceania Construction Group's A'beckett Street proposal

Other to miss out marginally on joining the 200 metre club include Uni Tower at 48 A'beckett Street which leads the pack at 198 metres, followed by Collins House at 195 metres and the revised Cbus 447 Collins Street twins which have yet to be submitted at 194 metres.

Also worthy of mention is the approved 256-260 City Road at 193 metres in height and the trio of 80 Collins Street, Empire Melbourne and Shadow Play which are all just shy of 190 metres.

All in all there's the potential for 31 towers in excess of 200 metres to grace Melbourne skyline in addition to those existing… and we may have missed one or two. Industry rumours persist on a number of other projects which are in the pipeline that will add to the 200 metre list. You can reference every project above 200 metres listed within the Urban.com.au Project Database via the individual listings below.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of Urban.com.au. He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.


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Dean's picture
Collins House is 200m to the top of the parapet. :-) (214m RL with 14m ground RL)
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