Columns
Residents' Association Image

Residents' Association

Congratulations, Southbank News
Read more >>

Business in Southbank Image

Business in Southbank

Familiar faces doing things differently at Southgate
Read more >>

St Johns Southgate Image

St Johns Southgate

Affirmation of 100
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

COVID Q&A: Private renovations, cladding rectifications and nuisance from pets
Read more >>

Montague Community Alliance Image

Montague Community Alliance

What an achievement … 100 editions!
Read more >>

Chinese

公共艺术还是广告?
Read more >>

Metro Tunnel

Metro Tunnel marks Parkville milestone
Read more >>

Owners' Corporation Management

Why it pays to be neighbourly in a strata building
Read more >>

Federal Politics Image

Federal Politics

Why Magnitsky Act is important for Australia
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Airbnb CEO “has mucked it all up”
Read more >>

Southbanker Image

Southbanker

Dancing against the odds
Read more >>

Port Places

Fishermans Bend: the first quarter 2019
Read more >>

Housing Image

Housing

Housing for all makes “good business sense”
Read more >>

History Image

History

Forward Surge
Read more >>

Safety and Security

Bicycle security and safety
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Practicing divergent thinking
Read more >>

Skypad Living Image

Skypad Living

Do COVID-19 clouds have a silver or red lining for vertical villages?
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Spoiling princess Chloe
Read more >>

Southbank Fashion Image

Southbank Fashion

Spring racing in Southbank
Read more >>

Street Smarts Image

Street Smarts

Power Street – Southbank
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

What’s behind the lights?
Read more >>

QB Square delay “extremely frustrating”

09 Sep 2020

QB Square delay “extremely frustrating” Image

By David Schout

The City of Melbourne’s planning chair has labelled Crown’s ongoing delay of upgrades to Queensbridge Square as “extremely frustrating” following reports of a revised vision for a proposed high-rise tower on its One Queensbridge St site.

Crown Resorts chief executive Ken Barton told investors in August that it “continued to look for options” on what it could do with the One Queensbridge site.

The state government previously issued a permit under “state significance” to Crown and former venture partner Schiavello for what would have been Australia’s tallest building back in March 2017, but that permit expired after construction failed to start within two years.

At the time, Crown promised delivery of a $100 million “public benefits package” to help get the controversial project over the line.

The package contained long-awaited upgrades to Queensbridge Square, Sandridge Bridge and Southbank Promenade – works all previously flagged by the City of Melbourne.

Demolition of the “red steps” amphitheatre was also mooted as part of the works, however the council invested $10,000 last year to refurbish it awaited confirmation of the developer’s plans.

But now, more than three years later, these public benefits to the local Southbank community still remain up in the air.

“It’s disappointing that the Crown development will not deliver the planned upgrade for Queensbridge Square as we had hoped,” the council’s planning chair Nicholas Reece said.

“The delay is extremely frustrating but the process has now run its course.”

Cr Reece, who is expected to run as Lord Mayor Sally Capp’s deputy in October’s council election, said it was now up to the next council to look into funding much-needed upgrades itself.

“This is Melbourne’s busiest promenade, it is such an important public space for Southbank residents, workers and visitors,” he said.

“In my view, an upgrade of the square must be delivered for the benefit of our city and I will continue to be a champion for that. But any decision about whether council will fund the upgrade will now be subject to a decision by the new council.”

The Australian reported in August that Crown proposed reimagining the development with a significant “commercial” component, and that a new application being undertaken included 40,000sqm of office space.

The original 323-metre building was touted as a six-star hotel and residential development.

However, approval for the project expired last year and planning minister Richard Wynne refused an extension.

Now, Crown was seeking new ways to develop the site in a post-COVID world, having bought joint venture partner Schiavello Group’s 50 per cent stake in the site.

“For us, it’s about a hotel,” Mr Barton told investors on August 19. “The question is what else can be economically and sensibly, with minimum level of risk, added to that site beyond a hotel aspect, whether it’s residential or commercial.”

“Those are the things we’re looking at, but for us, it’s about getting a high-quality hotel offering at the east end of the property, and there aren’t going to be many opportunities for us to get an expansion of the property of the East End, certainly nothing like the opportunity that comes with Queensbridge.” •

 

Stay in touch with Southbank. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Southbank Local News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.