Victoria Approves $1.2bn of ‘Shovel-Ready’ Projects

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May 25th, 2020

This article appeared in The Urban Developer.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has continued his push to fast-track construction across Melbourne, approving $1.2 billion worth of building and development projects.

The decision, overseen by the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce, will accelerate five shovel-ready priority projects across the city in a bid to kickstart the state’s economy and create thousands of potential jobs.

The decisions follow earlier approvals for the country’s tallest residential tower as well as three other mega-projects in late-April.

The taskforce, responsible of investigating opportunities to boost the state’s building and development industry over the short, medium and long term, have now given another tranche of projects the green light.

They include Charter Hall’s $290 million 21-storey office building at 140 Lonsdale Street, a $234 million 68-storey residential development at 640 Bourke Street and a $180 million Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Fender Katsalidis-designed hotel at 600 Lonsdale Street.

A 20-storey tower comprising near 17,000sq m of office space will be built between 683-699 Elizabeth Street along with a $60 million residential development on the former Commonwealth Games village site at 67-81 Galada Avenue in Parkville.

Minister for planning Richard Wynne said the priority approvals would assist the industry through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.

“Victoria remains open for business and our dedicated Taskforce is making sure a pipeline of projects continue to stimulate the economy and create jobs.”

Charter Hall’s new office building at 140 Lonsdale Street will now become the Melbourne headquarters of the Australian Federal Police.

The new A-Grade building will comprise 16,500sq m of office space over 22 levels and will mostly retain the existing above-ground carpark, providing approximately 380 car spaces.

Further along at 600 Lonsdale Street, an expansive 1918sq m corner block will be transformed into a modern 41-storey skyscraper featuring 288 hotel rooms, as well as office and retail space

At 640 Bourke Street, the newly-approved residential tower will feature 857 apartments, retail space and an art gallery above the 1905-built Eliza Tinsley Building.

PDG Corporation will press ahead with a $60 million biomedical and educational hub at the north end of Melbourne’s Elizabeth Street, set to comprise 20,000sq m across a 19-storey building.

Meanwhile, the former Commonwealth Games village site in Parkville will make way for a new residential development.

Wynne has also called in from VCAT a $250 million development at 31 Station Street Caulfield, which includes a build-to-rent scheme, affordable housing and a supermarket, retail and office space.

The announcement builds on the government’s $2.7 billion building works package of shovel-ready projects across the state that will attempt to create 3,700 jobs across supply chains.

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