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Freshwater 38 to soar over Southbank

14 May 2015

Freshwater 38 to soar over Southbank Image

In what is perhaps the most significant approval under new Labor Planning Minister Richard Wynne, the 73-storey Freshwater 38 at Power St is the latest mega-tower to be added to the Southbank skyline.

At 273m, the $400 million tower will measure 19m taller than the adjacent Prima Pearl tower and become the tallest tower in the Freshwater precinct.

Project and development manager RCP is still expected to proceed with a 273m development, despite still working through aviation airspace requirements.

The State Government has granted an initial permit for a 224m development, with the 273m permit still subject to approval by the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA).

With the Queensbridge Tower and Hanover House site developments currently awaiting planning approval, the precinct is quickly becoming the home of high-rise in Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne had opposed the project due to its height, “lack of meaningful podium” and lack of setbacks.

However, a spokeswoman for Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the developer had worked closely with the planning department and the City of Melbourne to address every concern.

“The development approval includes conditions around the setbacks and the podium to address council’s concerns,” the spokeswoman said.

“As often happens, the department worked with council and the developer to negotiate the best outcomes, which were detailed in their planning report.”

“The approval was granted with a height reduction from 273m to 224m to meet aviation airspace requirements.”

“The project is a $400 million investment, which is estimated to create up to 200 jobs in addition to 800 construction jobs.”

A report prepared by the planning department stated that the proposal fits the character of the Freshwater precinct, with the curvaceous, ball gown inspired design by project architect Metier 3 set to become an aesthetically pleasing addition to Southbank.

Family-owned international hospitality real estate company M&L Hospitality, which is based in Singapore, owns the Power St site.

With four hotels already operating in Australia, RCP development manager Ashley Thomas said the company was committed to expanding its hotel interests in Melbourne, with the mixed-use Freshwater 38 to include more than 350 hotel rooms at the top of the tower.

As well as incorporating 450 one, two and three bedroom residential apartments, the development will also feature a “Sky Bar” on the top floor, which will be open to members of the public.

A spokesperson for RCP said it was committed to providing a “quality alternative to existing accommodation options” and helping to improve the current streetscape along Power St.

With the planning approval now issued, Mr Thomas said RCP would continue to work with project architect Metier 3 and M&L Hospitality to address planning conditions and continue with design development.

Construction on the building will commence in 2016 and is due for completion in 2019.

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