Property development in Melbourne is varied to say the least—from Beulah’s twisted twins to edgy industrial offices.
Victoria had the best performing economy in the country, according to the CommSec State of the States report in October, with activity up 7.7 per cent above its four-year average.
This was 19.7 per cent above the decade average, and the state also topped the level of construction work for the quarter.
Despite this, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed the value of work was $16.24 billion, slightly down 0.7 per cent in the year to September.
Population growth was back in positive territory, up 2.7 per cent to 6.8 million in ABS data for mid-2023 released in December.
Victoria was one of the few places where house approval growth outpaced apartments—2785 houses were approved, up 6.5 per cent for the month compared to units at 4482 approved, down 1.4 per cent in October.
Corelogic results at the end of November showed house prices increased 4.4 per cent in a year to a median of $943,725.
Apartments jumped 2.9 per cent to a median of $610,490 the second highest in the country.
However the hype surrounding Melbourne’s biggest projects did not make them the most surprising, engaging or inspired. Here’s a list of the nine coolest projects to cross our desk this year from the Melbourne region.
308 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Developer: S P Setia
Architect: Fender Katsalidis with Cox Architects
After more than four years the $600-million twin towers reached practical completion in August to create the future home of Melbourne’s Shangri-La hotel.
The hotel would occupy one tower of the development and apartments in the other up to its 61 floor top, with a skybridge at level 46.
Queen Victoria Markets
Architects: NH Architecture, Kerstin Thompson Architects, 3XN Australia and Searle x Waldron Architecture, in conjunction with Openwork and McGregor Coxall
The $1.7-billion project on the 3.2ha site bordered by Franklin, Queen and Peel streets is currently the largest urban renewal project being undertaken by the City of Melbourne.
The project would comprise three new buildings on the site south of the Queen Victoria Markets car park, to be known as Gurrowa Place.
Address: 475 Church Street, Richmond
Developers: Salta Properties and Zagame Group
Two of Melbourne’s most prominent business families teamed up to build a $230-million 11-storey commercial tower along the bustling Church Street precinct.
The new proposal, to be known as Richmond Lofts will sit on two, three and four-storey podiums, designed to merge streetscapes with Industry Lanes buildings.
50 Mackey Street, North Geelong
Developer: Hamilton Group
Architect: JAM Architects
A planning scheme amendment was filed with the Victorian planning department for the third and final stage of a key industrial and commercial precinct at North Geelong.
The plans include adapting the heritage-listed power station and refurbishing it to create the final stage of the Pivot City business park.
Address: 60 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
Architect: UNStudio and Cox Architecture
STH BNK continues to make progress on the tallest skyscraper in the southern hemisphere after chalking up $600 million in sales in four months.
Early works on the Melbourne project began late 2023 to early 2024 and the project will take about five years to complete.
21-23 William Street, Balaclava
Developer: 94 Feet
Architect: WMK Architecture and Techne
Melbourne-based developer 94 Feet has shared designs for its six-storey office project in the city’s south-east.
The building will boast a net lettable area of nearly 6000sq m, as well as rooftop basketball and pickleball courts.
60-70 Kunyung Road, Mt Eliza
Developer: Ryman Healthcare
Ryman Healthcare, the Kiwi-listed aged care and retirement giant, expects to finalise design changes for a 230-resident facility on the Mornington Peninsula.
Under the approved plans, the 135-year-old Moondah Mansion will become the centre of a new retirement village.
276-284 Ingles Street, Port Melbourne
Developer: FR Investments Group Pty Ltd
Architect: Studio Kristen Whittle
The part 53, 55 and 56-storey tower with a four-storey podium and two basement levels will be built in the Fishermans Bend Precint.
The site was the home of Winfield Automotive Services for 31 years prior to its sale in March, 2020 for $7.95 million, according to CoreLogic property records.
The Isle of Wight Hotel
Address: 9-11 The Esplanade, 2-8 Bass Avenue, Phillip Island
Architect: Alexander & Co
Moda won approval for an $85-million transformation of a 140-year-old pub on Victoria’s Phillip Island in September.
The Isle of Wight Hotel and adjoining land, which will include a new seven-storey mixed-use 163-key hotel with a pool deck overlooking the ocean, rooftop basketball and tennis courts; and a three-storey, 49-room key-worker hostel with shared facilities.