Planning Application > 91 Montague Street, South Melbourne

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Today we take the wraps off yet another intended residential development for Fishermans Bend. 91 Montague Street South Melbourne (also known as 89-103 Gladstone Street) adds to Melbourne developer Blue Earth Group's burgeoning portfolio of residential projects over all stages of the development process. Following a recent collaboration with Plus Architecture for an intended residential development located at 195 Wellington Street Collingwood, the two firms have teamed up once again to produce a striking 30 level residential tower within the Montague Precinct.

Located on the south east corner of the Gladstone Street and Montague Street intersection (below), and with the elevated 109 Tram line in close proximity to the north, 91 Montague Street can expect excellent sight lines to both the CBD and Port Phillip Bay for the foreseeable future. Immediately to the east of the subject site sits the recently built four level Industry Business Hub complex; also designed by Plus Architecture it was delivered by MAB Corporation. While the low rise complex will further enshrine potential views for 91 Montague Street, the balance of the MAB site will at some point hold three additional residential towers. Should their scheme be approved, MAB can expect a yield of 700 apartments, with the tallest tower reaching 34 levels.

Also visible in the urban analysis plan below is the intended Carlins Automotive development. Currently seeking approval, the Carlins planning application calls for a mixed-use four tower complex ultimately holding 900 apartments with the tallest tower at 39 levels or approximately 125 metres in height. Should the complex gain approval media reports suggest Carlins will sell the site in stages to property developers intending to deliver a staged development. Both of these planning applications will be looked at by Urban Melbourne in due course.

Site position with the neighbouring Carlins site development plan

As is the way of Plus Architecture, the firm never fails in producing a visually stimulating design and 91 Montague Street is no exception. Rising the best part of 98 metres, the scheme is defined by a multitude of offset fins alternating between one and three floors in length which band together to create a chevron pattern. While providing design merit, the fins also serve a more practical purpose in that they're angled in such a fashion that allows for maximum shading from the harsh western summer sun. On a southwest-northeast axis, the fins also provide privacy screening while maximising views toward both Melbourne's CBD and Port Phillip Bay.

The intended tower's mass is essentially broken in two along an east-west axis where the northern facade carries a high articulation, the southern mass is less spectacular, almost staid, enforcing the distinction between the two elements. A southern boundary lift well is flanked by precast elements, catering for the likelihood of another tower abutting 91 Montague street in the future. Incorporated into the design is a six level podium of approximately 20 metres in height which has full coverage over the 815sqm site, while the towers northern form maintains a setback of 3.31 meters from the podium/street.

Hero perspective of 91 Montague Street, South Melbourne

Ground floor for the intended tower consists of lobby, associated services and a retail space of 289sqm fronting Montague Street while access for services, 86 bike spaces and 77 car parking bays lies off Gladstone Place. Thereafter levels one and two maintain living areas fronting Montague Street while the balance of the floors in question are absorbed by car parking. Levels 3-5 are solely for the use of car parking and are serviced by a car lift system.

The diagram below shows the bulk of two bedroom apartments located either side of the lift well for the entirety of the tower while one bedroom options monopolise floors 7-26, enjoy northerly views. Levels 27-28 contain limited north facing three bedroom options with what one could imagine to be sublime views. Level 29 sees two recreational areas combining for an impressive 303sqm of amenity space.

Ten varying apartment layouts have been included in the planning document, the smallest of which comes in at a combined internal/external 50sqm of space for a one bedroom apartment while the most expansive three bedroom option weighs in at 97sqm of internal/external space which is by no means massive but encouraging nonetheless. Three bedroom apartments over Melbourne tend to be quite large and therefore expensive putting them beyond the reach of the average family, yet if this tower comes to fruition I'd be intrigued to see what the three bedroom options are priced at. With one bedroom apartments currently out of favour, compact yet reasonably priced three bedroom apartments may find their Niche in the market.

91 Montague Street orientation and apartment positioning

A multitude of planning applications for Fishermans Bend have been filed with the State Government seeking approval and like all others 91 Montague faces a lenghthy wait until the State Government releases a comprehensive structure plan for the impending renewal area.

All images © Plus Architecture.

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