Middlefield Group favours hotel suites over apartments in West Melbourne

Middlefield Group favours hotel suites over apartments in West Melbourne
Middlefield Group favours hotel suites over apartments in West Melbourne

West Melbourne's wave of apartment projects may be tempered ever so slightly as developer Middlefield Group seeks to rework a formerly approved residential tower into hotel rooms.

On the corner of Spencer and Dudley Streets, the 268 square metre site was offered by agent Teska Carson with approval for 47 apartments during early 2017. After picking up the approved residential permit for 437-441 Spencer Street during early 2017, Middlefield Group has chosen to rework the site into a hotel, bucking the prevailing apartment trend for the suburb.

Lau & Order Pty Ltd (trading as Middlefield Group) initiated the change of use, with pre-application talks with Council occurring prior to an extension of time request receiving the nod during November 2017. This in turn allows the prospective hotel to be completed by April 2021.

Middlefield Group favours hotel suites over apartments in West Melbourne
Aerial perspective of the site. Image: commercialview.com.au

Design practice Elevli Plus was responsible for the previously approved residential scheme, and have been engaged for the current reconfiguration. The building's external envelope as seen below will essentially remain unchanged.

Internally though Middlefield Group are expecting the newly configured 17-storey tower to include 88 hotel rooms. According to planning documents all hotel rooms are to be generally between 17 and 32 square metres in size with the exception being the crowning suite, which spans 45 square metres.

437-441 Spencer Street's three basement levels include a kitchen, staff room, shower/ change facility, stores, bicycle parking area and various services. The intended hotel's 24 hour lobby/reception at ground will be accessed from Spencer Street.

Middlefield Group favours hotel suites over apartments in West Melbourne
The endorsed residential design. Image: Elevli Plus

The dearth of hotel suites in development across West Melbourne is evident when scanning the relevant numbers within the Urban.com.au Project Database.

Urban.com.au has 25 projects active within West Melbourne, yielding 2,900 plus dwellings in development, as opposed to 374 short-term accommodation suites (serviced apartment and/or hotel uses). The figure of 374 represents a roughly 13% share of rooms in development for the suburb.

Joining the would-be 437-441 Spencer Street are three additional projects which hold approval. Adina Grand Apartment Hotel has signed on to the West End development diagonally opposite 437-441 Spencer Street, whilst 77-79 Capel Street is approved as a boutique hotel development.

In addition, Urban.com.au last week revealed Marriott International's intentions to operate a Courtyard by Marriott branded hotel at 50-56 Batman Street, West Melbourne.

Middlefield Group favours hotel suites over apartments in West Melbourne
Artist’s impression of what the new Adina Grand Apartment Hotel at West End. Image: TFE Hotels
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West Melbourme Middlefield Group Elevli Plus

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nwharr
Because they already received a permit to demolish the existing building and build a tower in 2013 before it was heritage listed. This application is an amendment to the existing permit.
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bilby
No mention of the demolition of one of Melbourne's oldest commercial heritage buildings for this rather mundane tower?
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