Melbourne-based developer Orchard Piper has teamed up again with the Carter Group, this time to transform a six-storey office building on St Kilda Road into a $300-million hotel and apartment complex.
The plans filed with the City of Melbourne call for a five-star 108-key hotel, circa 55 apartments, a day-spa, mezzanine restaurant and bar, and a street-level cafe. The building will be 17 storeys.
Orchard Piper director Luke McKie, who described the Carter Group as “close family friends” of he and co-director Rick Gronow, said they had approached them about a joint venture development. Carter would remain landowners and Orchard Piper the developers. It is the fifth time the pair have collaborated.
The project aims at servicing Melbourne’s major sporting and cultural events, such as the Formula One grand prix, the Australian open and the nearby National Gallery of Victoria.
“There is a real shortage of high-quality accommodation in the premium parts of Melbourne,” McKie said. “There is a lot of newer accommodation in the Docklands precinct and West Melbourne but not many in Collins Street or on St Kilda Road.”
The prized 2400sq m mixed-use site at 448 St Kilda Road was acquired by the Carter Group more than 20 years ago.
Orchard Piper has chosen Singapore-based Kerry Hill Architects to deliver what will be their first project in Melbourne.
With an office in Perth, KHA has 40 years’ experience designing hotels, mainly in Japan, India and south-east Asia.
Part of KHA’s brief was that the building’s exterior be clad with locally sourced, saw-cut bluestone, in a nod to St Kilda Road’s earliest structures.
“There has been a lot of off-shore development over the years and we really felt we wanted the building to be very local, very Melbourne and to have a material that represented the city,” McKie said.
“There is a bluestone laneway to the CBD, then you move down to the National Gallery of Victory and the Roy Grounds bluestone, there’s the Victoria Barracks, Melbourne Grammar and The Melburnian. All are bluestone buildings.
“Kerry Hill’s key driver for their architecture is a sense of place and the sense of place here is that it will be clad in bluestone. It was perfect for them.”
The development, which is expected to take two years, is planned to break ground early in 2024.