Construction of the tallest residential tower in the southern hemisphere has hit its first major milestone, with the first residents set to move into Australia 108 in June.
Builder Multiplex has handed over the first portion of the building, comprising 277 apartments located between levels 14 and 30.
Singapore-based property group World Class Global is set to pocket $147.3 million in sales proceeds from the first-phase handover, subject to the settlement by purchasers of the initial 277 completed residential apartments.
When completed, the 101-storey tower located on the corner of City Road and Southbank Boulevard in Southbank will house over 1000 apartments and eclipse Eureka Tower as Australia's tallest tower.
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“This is a historic moment for this iconic project, which is not only on its way to becoming Melbourne’s tallest building but will also house the highest residences in the Southern Hemisphere," World Class Global chief executive David Ng said.
Construction of the remaining floors above will continue unbeknownst to the new tenants with workers accessing the building through a separate entrance as well as a variety of innovative techniques including temporary "jumping" lift motor rooms, hoists and cranes.
Multiplex regional managing director Graham Cottam said the project was on track for completion in the next two years following a rapid construction process, with the core structure up to level 59 and slabs at level 53.
“This country hasn’t seen a project like Australia 108 from a sheer numbers perspective,” Cottam said.
"If we look at the glass facade alone, all up some 2,500 tonnes of glass spanning 47,000 square metres will be used to create the tower’s innovative facade.”
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The project, designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, was initially proposed in 2012 but cancelled in April 2013 as it was found to infringe on federal regulations protecting aircraft safety.
World Class Global acquired the Australia 108 project in 2014 for $42.3 million, with the revised scheme given the green light by the Napthine government after new designs were submitted and the hotel portion of the tower was removed.
Launching for sale in November 2014, Australia 108’s 1,103 apartments sold quickly, with the 750sq m penthouse setting the record for Australia’s most expensive apartment when it sold to a Chinese national for $25 million in April 2015.
When completed, the residential tower will become Australia’s tallest building by roof height and second-tallest building by total height.
It will also be the southern hemisphere's only building with 100 levels.
The public will have a chance to see inside Australia 108 in July, with the building included in this year’s Open House Melbourne program.
Fender Katsalidis will be hosting tours of the site on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 of July as part of the Open House Melbourne program.