The Victorian government has approved plans for a $200 million redevelopment of the former Melbourne convention and exhibition centre site on Spencer Street into three apartment towers.
The buildings, designed by Melbourne architect Elenberg Fraser, are between 27 and 34 storeys high, and feature 1060 apartments, plus retail spaces, and will be capped by rooftop gardens. The tower heights were determined to prevent overshadowing on the Yarra River.
Planning minister Richard Wynne signed off on the proposal, part of $1 billion worth of residential and commercial development along the Docklands North Wharf promenade after the developer agreed to change their plans to allow Sidderley Street to be open to the sky for the full length of the site, as well as removing footbridges and overhauling public open spaces.
While the convention centre is currently being demolished for the project, the 13-level Crown Plaza Hotel which overlooks the Yarra River will remain intact. The site was the original Crown casino after it was built in 1984.
The minister said the final design was a good trade-off between being allowed for development while increasing the amount of public space and parks.
“This is a good development in a prime location near Southern Cross Station, trams and public space along the Yarra River which will provide more housing at the gateway between the CBD and Docklands,” he said.
The site is owned in partnership between Eureka Funds Management and Asset 1, part of the Riverlee Group.
Eureka director Quentin Shaw said the development was one of the nation’s leading residential projects.
“Its proximity to the CBD, the Yarra River and Crown Casino entertainment precinct makes it a very special opportunity,” he said.
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