Councillors Green Light $1bn Cbus Tower

Melbourne City councillors have signed off on a $1 billion-plus office tower set to straddle four addresses on the corner of Bourke and Queen streets to be eventually known as 435 Bourke Street.

Super fund developer Cbus Property first submitted plans for a 58-storey tower late last year, before revising plans to comply with Melbourne's strict C270 controls.

In minutes released from council planners have recommended that the amended 46-storey tower be approved despite the demolition of a heritage-graded building at 140 Queen Street found by councillors to be “in poor structural condition”.

The 64,500sq m Cbus development will be allowed extra space because it is earmarked for office use. There will also be 714sq m of ground floor retail use.

Cbus Property has amalgamated close to 3,000sq m on the corner of Queen and Bourke streets on which it will build the commercial project.

The super fund developer pulled together four neighbouring properties into a single super-site with the deal for the properties struck at a price somewhere north of $170 million.

▲ The site is located only a few blocks from the developer's eye-catching Pantscraper twin-tower project on Collins Street. Image: Bates Smart
▲ The site is located only a few blocks from the developer's eye-catching Pantscraper twin-tower project on Collins Street. Image: Bates Smart

The Bates Smart-designed tower will sit only a few blocks from the developer's $1.3 billion Pantscraper twin-tower project at 447 Collins Street.

The Bourke Street tower will feature a significant 200sq m sky terrace on level 53 will provide a unique vantage point with an outlook over the Yarra River and CBD landmarks such as the MCG and Port Phillip Bay as well as five other landscaped terraces.

The proposed development is also aiming high on sustainability. The developers are targeting a NABERS rating of 5.5 stars and a minimum 5 star Green Star Design and As-built V1.2 certification.

The tower’s sculptural form also boosts its sustainability credentials by being broken into four differentiated bundles at varying heights allowing an efficient structural solution.

Late last year, Cbus successfully moved on the site in the heart of the Melbourne CBD buying out neighbouring properties after their Singaporean owners put aside a lengthy property dispute.

The complex deal initially involved a property owned by Singapore-listed Chip Eng Seng and two held by its neighbour, the wealthy Chow family, also based in Singapore.

During negotiations for the three sites, Cbus Property secured a fourth adjoining property in the precinct, owned by a Brunei-based family.

The dispute forced Chip Eng Seng, a big player in the Melbourne market, to abandon its $350 million Tower Melbourne project and return the 10 per cent deposits it had in hand for 556 sales contracts.

As many as 5,500 workers could occupy the tower if approval is received by the state government.

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Article originally posted at: https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/articles/councillors-green-light-1b-cbus-tower