Development Scenario: 60 Collins + 100 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

Development Scenario: 60 Collins + 100 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Development Scenario: 60 Collins + 100 Exhibition Street, Melbourne recently highlighted the development activity along Melbourne's Collins Street, in which it was noted that The Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) building at 60 Collins Street represented a significant redevelopment opportunity.

Located on the north-east corner of Exhibition Street and Collins Street opposite QICGRE's 80 Collins development, the property has been listed for sale by the RBA - which is vacating the 16-storey building -  with a number of developers believed to have been circling.

Development Scenario: 60 Collins + 100 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
60 Collins Street. Images: Real Commercial | Jaganol

To provide further context to the site, it is also covered by Heritage Overlay HO504 (Collins East Precinct) as it adjoins the heritage-listed Melville House (HO566) at 52-54 Collins Street. However, inclusion in the Heritage Overlay does not mean that a site cannot be redeveloped. When a permit for redevelopment is considered, heritage becomes a further consideration as part of the process.

Due to the site's location within this historically sensitive context, the design of any new structure(s) on the site becomes critical.

City of Melbourne's Amendment C258: Heritage Precincts Statements of Significance 2017 notes:

Collins Street has often been identified as Melbourne’s leading street. This is due, in part, to the pleasant amenity and distinctive character of its eastern end. Its relative elevation and proximity to the Government Reserve and points of access to the City provided for its development as an elite locale.

Initially a prestige residential area, the Melbourne Club re-established itself here in 1857 and by the 1860s the medical profession had begun to congregate. By the turn of the century it was firmly established as a professional and artistic centre of Melbourne, with part of its fame due to its tree plantations in the French boulevard manner (hence the ‘Paris end’), which date from 1875.

A number of significant buildings come together in this precinct to form a series of prominent streetscapes. These include, at the western end, the Town Hall, Athenaeum, and Assembly Hall through to the Scots and Independent Churches, with the Regent Theatre through to the redeveloped T&G building opposite.

The eastern end includes the early 19th century residential and artists’ studio buildings at the foot of No. One Collins, with the predominantly 20th century intact run to the north featuring Alcaston, Anzac Portland and Chanonry Houses, and Victor Horsley Chambers plus the nearby Melbourne Club.

At all times until the post 1939-45 war period, redevelopment took place in a quiet and restrained manner with an emphasis on dignity, harmony and compatibility with the intimate scale and pedestrian qualities of the street. These qualities are still embodied in significant remnant buildings and other artifacts, despite the intrusion of large developments.

The qualities of the street are also embodied in the social functions of the buildings which include elite smaller scale residential, religious, social, quality retailing and professional activities.

- Collins East Precinct, Statement of Significance (INCORPORATED DOCUMENT – CLAUSE 81 SCHEDULE Page 8)

It goes on to list the following as key attributes of the Precinct:

  • The buildings remaining from before the Second World War.
  • The boulevard quality of this end of Collins Street with street tree plantations and street furniture.
  • A consistent height, scale, character and appearance of the remaining 19th and early 20th century buildings.
  • The historic garden of the Melbourne Club

For the purposes of this study I have also included 100 Exhibition Street, which is currently occupied by a Mantra branded hotel. This was done to provide larger commercial floor plates, in addition to enhancing links through the site.

Development Scenario: 60 Collins + 100 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

The 60 Collins Street site alone has a footprint of 1,300sqm, whereas a minimum floor plate of 1,500sqm would be preferred. To achieve this with the application of setbacks based on the planning controls for the Capital City Zone, a site of 3,000 sqm would be ideal, however, the 60 Collins Street site benefits from a corner location so can rise 80m without setbacks.

Combining both 60 Collins Street and 100 Exhibition Street would create a development site of approx. 2,100 sqm.

The Victorian Liberal Party is also offloading the 6-storey Art Deco Centenary Hall at 104 Exhibition Street, completed in 1935 which is expected to fetch around $30m.

The site is covered by Heritage Overlay HO1028 and carries with it a 'Significant' grading due to its interiors, however it is not listed on the Victoria Heritage Register. It has not been included as part of the development study.

The process for developing the envelope for the combined 60 Collins And 100 Exihibtion Streets is outlined in the diagrams in the slideshow below, however some key figures and features include;

Development Scenario: 60 Collins + 100 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
  • 44-storeys/160m (to roof)
  • Floor plates of 1,790sqm for lower 19-storey office levels = 32,220sqm GFA or approx. 25,800 sqm NLA
  • Residential and hotel floor plates of 900 sqm across 25-storeys (or 20-storeys of office)
  • This upper volume is limited to 50m in length to reduce massing and allow for the creation of a;
  • North facing publically accessible landscaped rooftop terrace and bar, atop the streetwall 
  • Extension of McGraths Lane through to Collins Street
  • Total Gross Floor Area: 54,720 sqm 
  • Plot ratio: 26:1 - this is achieved via new laneway, publically accessible rooftop and office and hotel use

Keep an eye out in coming weeks for a similar study on the 383 Latrobe Street site, which Mirvac recently purchased from Sterling Global, who had a permit for a Jean Nouvel designed tower.

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

60 Collins Street Melbourne Development study 100 Exhibition Street


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