The rise and rise of Melbourne's Spencer Street

The rise and rise of  Melbourne's Spencer Street
Laurence DragomirJuly 23, 2018

The western edge of Melbourne's CBD is a flurry with construction activity as a number of projects are currently underway along Spencer Street. Once derided as Melbourne's arse end, the burgeoning Docklands precinct and redevelopment of the former Spencer Street Station (remember that?) into Southern Cross Station have provided the catalyst for the Street's metamorphosis into a high-rise neighbourhood.

Developments such as Liberty Tower (Elenberg Fraser's first high-rise), Far East Consortium's multi-tower Upper West Side on the site of the former Lonsdale Street power station, and Media House amongst others have all contributed to lifting Spencer Street's profile over the last 20 years.

In more recent years the pace has really picked up with Spencer Street not only going up in terms of height but also branching out with development towards West Melbourne. With that in mind let's take a look at the current construction pipleline along Spencer Street.

Melbourne Village

The rise and rise of  Melbourne's Spencer Street
Melbourne Village. Images: Deague Group | Urban.com.au forumer redden

The Deague Group's Melbourne Village development will upon completion comprise 496 apartments, 33 townhouses as well as commercial office space within two towers. 

Covering a 3,800 sqm site at 83-113 Batman Street, Asian Pacific Group's purchased the site with approval for dual 27-storey towers designed by Bruce Henderson Architects.

The walls of the red brick podium have been erected with builder Maxcon making good progress with the cores beginning to make their mark on the West Melbourne skyline.

West End

The rise and rise of  Melbourne's Spencer Street
West End site works have finally commenced. Images: Trennery Property | Urban.com.au forumer redden

Trennery Property's five building 'village' development has finally commenced onsite with excavation now underway to deliver the project that includes an impressive roll call of designers including ARM, CHT, Carr, Six Degrees, Mim Design and Hecker Guthrie.

Key elements of the $300 million include a 92-room, 4.5 star Adina hotel, a 600 sqm public park, a supermarket, specialty stores, restaurants and cafes in addition to a north-south public arcade Rosslyn and Dudley Streets.

311 Spencer Street

The rise and rise of  Melbourne's Spencer Street
The new Victoria Police Centre. Images: Cbus Property | Mark Baljak

Probuild is making heady progress on Cbus Property's 311 Spencer Street project, with facade installation now underway.

The new 39-storey Victoria Police Centre will join the existing City West Police Complex also designed by Woods Bagot.

Upon completion the project will inject approximately 65,500 sqm of A-grade office space, further adding to the street's emerging high-rise character and providing it with diversity of programme.

Premier Tower

The rise and rise of  Melbourne's Spencer Street
Premier Tower's structure has now cleared the podium levels. Images: Elenberg Fraser | SSC forumer lozza

Construction on Elenberg Fraser's Beyonce-inspired building for Fragrance Group is beginning to move at pace, following a slow start in getting out of the ground due to difficult ground conditions.

Multiplex has progressed Premier Tower's core it be well above the podium levels, while the first of the tower's floors are being formed.

The first traces of the 249m tower's silver glazing are still some way off, in stark contrast to the brown brick perimeter walls of the former Savoy Tavern that used to occupy the site.

West Side Place

The rise and rise of  Melbourne's Spencer Street
Stage one of West Side Place. Images: Far East Consortium | Urban.com.au forumer redden

Another project with Probuild at the helm, Far East Consortium's West Side Place takes the tier one builder's crane count on Spencer Street to eight.

The first stage of the Cottee Parker-designed quad tower development includes the 263 room Ritz-Carlton in addition to 1,376 apartments across two towers of 81 and 62-storeys.

Occupying the site of the former Age building which drew constant comparisons with Soviet-era architecture, the development has begun emerging out of the ground, with the cores rising above street level.

Along with 311 Spencer Street it is an impressive sight as you come down Lonsdale Street and you are greeted with cranes galore.

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.

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