Gurner’s Southbank Build-to-Rent Conversion Wins Green Light


Plans for Gurner’s revised Southbank tower have been approved.

Under the plan, serviced apartments on the site will be replaced by a build-to-rent offering as part of a $350-million, 41-storey tower development

A development application for the Warren and Mahoney-designed gold teardrop tower was filed with the City of Melbourne in October for the 1625sq m site at 334 City Road.

The project is the second seed asset within the Gurner Qualitas build-to-rent platform,—a further two seed assets are currently under the groups’ control in Melbourne, but are still bound by confidentiality agreements.

The Future Melbourne Committee unanimously approved the revised scheme this week to allow for 396 build-to-rent apartments, a private gym on the ground and first floor, and a new facade.

Gurner founder Tim Gurner said there would be a focus on hospitality at ground floor, middle levels and rooftop as well as a “world-class health and wellness precinct”.

“Our Southbank project at 334 City Road will bring together world-class amenities, luxury interiors, facilities and service, allowing us to provide leading residential options to those at the top end of the rental market,” Gurner said.

“We are really thrilled with the recent support and look forward to obtaining planning approval shortly so that we can start construction in the new year, with a completion date forecast 28 months later.”

Gurner general manager of design Alexander Fin said they wanted to “better the design” of the approved permit for the site they had acquired, which had resulted in a design competition for the reimagined building.

“We consider [this] to be a vast improvement … we acquired the site with a permit that was permitted in 2016,” Fin said.

“We’re serious about development and we’re serious about developing great buildings.”

▲ The curved glass facade and crown on the 41-storey building will punctuate Southbank's skyline. Images: Warren and Mahoney

The “resident experience” focused redesign also honed its internal floorplates and built form to provide larger living and bedroom spaces, according to Warren and Mahoney principal Nick Deans.

“Our vision for the project is to create a world-class build-to-rent project, setting a new benchmark for this asset class in Melbourne,” Deans said.

“We have enhanced [the 2016 permit] with a fully activated podium, lower street wall, high quality apartment layouts coupled with a contemporary design response.”

The tower will comprise 56 studios, 128 one-bedroom apartments, 198 two-bedroom apartments and 12 three-bedroom apartments. It will be a net-zero operation building, with zero gas, a 5-Star Green Star Rating and a 6.5 Nabers Rating.

Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said the the City of Melbourne council had rejected plans on the site twice previously but the revised scheme would “make its mark in Southbank”.

Gurner is a developer well-known for putting a premium on architecture and design, and when need be, being quite edgy with their design,” he said.

“It will make a distinguished contribution to the Southbank skyline.

“I think the new use and the inclusion of build-to-rent dwellings is something which we should support. Having a range of alternative pathways for people into residential accommodation in Melbourne is a good thing.”

Earlier this year Gurner founder Tim Gurner said that subject to approvals demolition on the site would begin early in 2022.


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