Frater Group enters the high-rise game in South Melbourne

The already healthy number of residential towers milling around South Melbourne's Domain Precinct can add another to their ranks.

9-11 Palmerston Crescent is the latest development looking for approval with City of Port Phillip, and represents a step up in scale for developer Frater Group. Accustomed to smaller projects to date such as 233-239 Dryburgh Street, Frater Group's push to realise a high-rise tower comes in the form of a Rothelowman-designed 19-storey building.

Agent Allard Shelton offered the modest 476 square metre site for sale mid last year; for the time being, the land accommodates a modest 711 square metre dual level office building onsite.

9-11 Palmerston Crescent application summary

Aerial perspective - site context. Image: Allard Shelton
  • Site area: 476 square metres with 11.58 metre frontage
  • Proposed: 19 level tower at 64 metres in height
  • 54 apartments: 17 x 1BR, 32 x 2BR, 4 x 3BR, 1 x 4BR
  • Each apartment to have a balcony
  • 2 stacker basement levels: 43 vehicles & 19 bicycles
  • 52.8 square metre cafe space
  • 47.7 square metre office space on level 1
  • 2 roof level communal spaces: 238 square metres in total

Designing for space

RotheLowman's design for the dimensionally tight site was impacted by the human body in sculpture. Michelangelo's Slaves and Standing Female Nude by Pablo Picasso were referenced as informing the shape of the narrow tower component, resulting in a creased feature facade to Palmerston Crescent.

Practically though Rothelowman's task was to deliver a tower that has a clearance of 3 metres to the east in the form of a narrow laneway and approval in place for a similar sized tower on the adjoining site to the west. 

The result is a roughly 9 metre space between the tower forms of 9-11 Palmerston Crescent and the adjoining Elenberg Fraser-designed approved tower at 13-21 Palmerston Crescent. Opaque glazing will also assist in protecting privacy across 9-11 Palmerston Crescent where required.

Intended development with approved adjacent building. Planning image:Rothelowman

South Melbourne towers in waiting

With the addition of Frater Group's latest, we're tracking as many as 12 current residential projects beyond 15 levels in height in and around South Melbourne's Domain Precinct.

The majority of projects are approved, with projects such as 9-13 Park Street and 5-7 Park Street noted as at appeal. One project recently progressed through the approvals process with VCAT recently ruling in favour of developer Holder East's Cobden Street proposal.

This now means the developer has the right to deliver as many as 231 apartments within the Hayball-designed project; an image of the tower when initially submitted is seen below. The 2,001 square metre island site is approved to include retail spaces and amenities such as a pool, gym, library and cinema.

Holder East have the green light for Cobden Street. Image: Hayball
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