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Movement for two major Queensbridge St sites

11 Nov 2020

Movement for two major Queensbridge St sites Image

By Meg Hill

Permitted plans for a major development on Queensbridge St have been scrapped, with a new owner undertaking a redesign of the key site, while another site with an approved permit has been put on the market.

Property developer Time & Place announced in October it had bought the land at 84 - 90 Queensbridge St from previous owner New Sky Group. Time & Place said it was working to “completely redesign the development within the substantial height envelope of the previously approved planning permit”.

A permit was granted for a 174-metre residential tower on the site by then Liberal Minister for Planning Matthew Guy in 2014 to then owner Starryland Melbourne, a subsidiary of Chinese group Financial Fook.

It was sold to the New Sky Group later that year. But there has been little progress on the site since, except for demolition work the New Sky Group reported in April last year.

Time & Place said the redesign provided an opportunity to apply its “new vision for high density residential living, in a format that responded to owners’ and occupants’ dynamic lifestyles, security, comfort and investment needs, as well as addressing more recent challenges presented by COVID-19”.

It said its 62-storey development would have a strong focus on sustainability and a view to activating surrounding public space. Time & Place director Tim Price said the developer was looking to deliver projects unlike others seen before in Melbourne.

“Southbank has become renowned for glass towers, this won’t be another one of those. We’re looking to deliver something edgy, with a New York feel, and activate a space that the public will want to engage with,” Mr Price said.

“We’re pulling together a team of market leaders who share our values to create a project with a strong legacy that will have a lasting impact on Southbank and help its transition into one of Australia’s most liveable suburbs.”

The site is situated next to the Kings Way under croft, a key area identified for public realm activation in the City of Melbourne’s $38m City Road masterplan project, which was developed after the 2014 planning permit was granted.

It includes plans to build basketball courts and new bike lanes in the under croft.

“The Kings Way under croft is part of the City of Melbourne’s masterplan for the area and is expected to be complete by approximately 2024. Time & Place is currently involved in discussions with council on how it can best contribute to the activation of this important space, which has the capacity to become the new heart of Southbank,” a spokesperson for the developer said.

With the permit for the site having been extended this year, the developer will submit an amended planning application to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne for approval.

Key Queensbridge site up for sale

A Southbank supersite is on the market after years of sitting idle despite planning approval for a $900 million development.

The 6202 sqm site at 87-127 Queensbridge St, which extends to City Rd, was granted a planning permit by Minister for Planning Richard Wynne in 2018 for two towers at 24 and 47 levels respectively, comprising more than 700 apartments.

The land was acquired in lots between 2014 and 2016 by Chinese developer Sheng Le, which is now officially walking away from the development and hoping to land $100 million for the site and associated permit.

The proposed development, dubbed Queens Bridge Place, has an estimated worth of $900 million.

A condition of the 2018 permit was the creation of the 1465 sqm pedestrian link under the building, connecting Queensbridge St and City Road and creating a pathway to Boyd Park on Balston St.

The development was endorsed with conditions by the City of Melbourne in 2018, when the developer submitted an amended application, despite concerns about the overshadowing of Boyd Park.

Southbank Residents Association (SRA) president Tony Penna at the time said the SRA did not support the proposal despite positive changes that had been made since the initial application.

“SRA made a submission to this application when it was first brought before us in April last year. At that time, we rejected to the application on the grounds that Boyd Park would be significantly overshadowed from the development,” he said.

“Purely due to the overshadowing of Boyd that remains with this application the SRA can’t support it, but we commend the officer for the work that they’ve done to get the application where it is now, because it certainly is an improvement.”

He also said the inclusion of the pedestrian link was a positive contribution to the site and would assist with activating a section of the street that was “unlively and unengaging” •

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