Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne has signed off on a controversial $1.25 billion tower in Melbourne’s CBD after the developers agreed to lop 22 metres – six floors – off its height.
The connecting 41-storey twin towers at 447 Collins Street, nicknamed the “Pantscraper”, is the third iteration for the site after the first idea by developers Cbus Property – 295-metre tall, 74-level skyscraper on the 6000-square-metre city block, bounded by Collins, Williams and Market streets and Flinders Lane – was knocked back in October 2014 because of overshadowing on the Yarra River.
The same problem stalled the redesign – a 47-level, 165m high version of “Pantscraper”, designed by Woods Bagot and New York-based SHoP Architects – last year after Wynne, the new planning minister, changed the limits on height and plot ratios for CBD developments.
The original twin towers were meant to include 68,356 sq m of office space, 269 hotel rooms and 315 dwellings, along with ground-floor retail. The configuration for the approved concept has yet to be revealed.
The previous proposal included a $3 million 1500 sq m public park on a closed section of Market Street as part of a deal struck with the City of Melbourne council to offset the overshadowing. That idea stays under the new 142-metre-tall version, which is still believed to shadow the Yarra’s northern bank in winter, but not the whole river.
The planning minister said the final deal was a “significant win for the city” that protected the Yarra.
“This project takes in an entire city block and we have taken the time to make sure we provide for a future landmark on Collins Street,” he said.
“I judge every project on merit and make sure what is built does not negatively impact the surrounds, I want to encourage new towers without sacrificing amenity.”
Cbus has yet to submit an amended design for approval, but demolition on the site is expected to start within six months.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.