Plans for 40-level tower at hostel site
By David Schout
Plans have emerged of a $250 million play to turn a City Rd hostel into a 40-storey mixed-use tower.
Developer Gurner, in a joint venture with Australian Meat Group founders the Catalfamo family, have released plans for the 334 City Rd site, featuring 400 apartments, ground-level retail, and a gym.
The site was once home to Eve Nightclub and has more recently operated as the Urban Central Hostel.
Gurner chief executive Tim Gurner said the group was attracted to Southbank for a number of reasons.
“Southbank is going through a renaissance of sorts with an increasing number of restaurants, bars and entertainment precincts while offering proximity to the best parts of Melbourne’s CBD,” he said.
“It allows us to do something special that will add to the flavour of the area while bringing our signature luxury approach to residential living.”
Proposed plans for the tower included a health and wellness precinct, a two-storey gym, a communal dining, cinema and entertainment precinct, dog wash and dog run, alongside “Melbourne’s hottest new rooftop venue” according to Mr Gurner.
The site has an existing permit in place for a 38-level tower, approved by the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne in 2016 who significantly cut back an initial proposal for 82 storeys.
Prior to that, a 2015 proposal for a 57-storey tower at the Southbank site was described as a “terrible proposal” by former Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, that “thumbed its nose” at the city’s planning controls.
Mr Gurner, however, was confident about its amended plans.
“We have recently submitted our revised scheme to council and will hopefully have approvals in the coming months with demolition starting this year,” he said.
Gurner has appointed international architectural practice Warren and Mahoney to redesign the building.
The group’s principal Nick Deans said the tower would complement the area.
“The external facade of the building makes a bold statement, designed ‘in the round’ to ensure it delivers appeal from all aspects,” he said.
“With its defined crown structure atop of the building, the tower is a symbolic piece of architecture that will be highly visible on the skyline of Southbank and contribute to Melbourne’s broader city-scape. And those living there will enjoy uninterrupted views of the CBD and back to Port Philip Bay.”
Mr Deans said a nearly 10-year relationship with the developer had delivered positive outcomes.
“We’ve also worked closely with the Gurner team to prototype and implement the ‘Greener by Gurner’ sustainability aspirations for a carbon neutral development – a standard we’d like to see across the board.”
The site at 334 City Rd has been owned by the Catalfamo family since 1999 •