City of Melbourne approves six major projects

With little fanfare, six notable planning applications have been given the OK via City of Melbourne over recent weeks.

From mid July through to last week, one after the other are now free to proceed at the whim of the developer. And for three of the six a start to construction is precisely what is at the forefront of the developer's thinking.

The most recent approval is that of 269-271 Spring Street, otherwise known as the new home of Australian Unity. Approved last week, the brisk planning process which barely latest three months saw a mildly compromised design outcome for the tower, which is located above sensitive heritage buildings.

Early expectations had the tower operational by some point during 2018.

Spring Street will gain a new addition

Also hitting the ground running is 205-223 Pelham Street, with demolition on the Carlton site almost complete. GSA Group will now push the student accommodation project through to immediate construction, after its approval during July.

The DKO Architecture designed building will carry 244 beds over 13 levels, with 152sqm of retail at street level. An early development cost for the project was a nominal $32.5 million.

Also subject to a recent construction tender, 5-17 Flemington Road was given the nod by City of Melbourne last month. Purchased by Singapore-based Centurion Corporation for $60 million during 2013, the current RMIT Village which provides student accommodation will be greatly expanded under the freshly agreed to permit.

Created by Hobart-based firms Architects Designhaus and Jones Moore Architecture, 147 additional beds will soon be added to the Flemington Road frontage.

The first of Besgate Group's Melbourne projects on Swanston Street

September has provided Besgate Group will good news; the first of the developer's three current Melbourne apartment projects is clear to proceed. Designed by Jackson Clements Borrows, 558-566 Swanston Street initially sought 179 apartments over 17 levels when it first entered planning during late 2015.

Besgate Group's remaining projects are with the State Government owing to their size; the duo are either side of 200 metres in height and yet to be approved.

Another residential project to find favour is 684-688 Elizabeth Street, with a planning permit granted during August. The SJB Architects-designed tower is now capable of adding 120 apartments to the growing stock along a stretch of Elizabeth Street directly north of the CBD.

Rounding out the six is Epworth HealthCare's freshly stamped plans for an overhaul and expansion of the Freemasons Hospital. With a nominal development cost of $55 million, the project first entered planning during December of last year.

A joint design between Silver Thomas Hanley and John Wardle Architects, the expansion revolves around a new facility dubbed the Grey Street Centre which will accommodate spaces for education/training, day procedure and theatre rooms and medical consulting suites. 

Epworth East Melbourne's newly approved wing
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