Cbus to launch $1b development in Melbourne’s CBD

Cbus to launch $1b development in Melbourne’s CBD

11 January 2019

Superannuation developer Cbus Property will pursue a $1 billion office tower project in the very heart of Melbourne after accumulating several sites once slated for residential skyscrapers, reports the AFR.

Designed by Bates Smart, the proposed 55-level tower, if approved, will comprise 64,500 square metres of office space on a site bounded by Bourke and Queen streets, only a few blocks from the developer’s distinctive “Pantscraper” twin-tower project on Collins Street.

“The significance of the project’s location and the needs of a future city were integral to the project’s design, as well as ensuring planning controls were met and the development potential of the site optimised,” said chief executive Adrian Pozzo.

Central Melbourne could need another 4.4 million square metres of commercial space to house the expected growth in workforce numbers, Mr Pozzo said, noting recent forecasts.

“Our vision for 435 Bourke Street will help meet this demand,” he said.

In response to this demand, Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne has this week flagged easing central Melbourne planning restrictions that developers say could cost the state economy up to $7 billion in lost jobs by 2036, notes the AFR.

Mr Wynne said he would meet Property Council of Australia officials next month to discuss the two-year-old planning amendment that the lobby group says constrains development in the country’s fastest-growing city.

The CBUS Property project will include a 4-level flexible wellness hub on McKillop Street that will service 435 Bourke Street occupants and will also be accessible to the city community.

The space will include a retail offering, double height multi-function space for active wellness, flexible studio spaces and consulting rooms for passive wellness as well as a rooftop garden retail offering.

The super fund developer pulled together neighbouring properties into a single super-site after their Singaporean owners put aside a lengthy property dispute over their own proposals and offered the real estate to the market.

Architects Bates Smart designed ICI House, Melbourne’s first freestanding office skyscraper, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last month.

The company also designed the controversial Opal Towers, at Sydney’s Olympic Park, which had to be evacuated on Christmas Eve after cracks were found on the tenth floor.

The tower is now subject to an internal and governmental investigation, and its beautiful design features are under scrutiny, says a news.com.au report

Engineers have reportedly ruled out a problem with prefabricated concrete panels used in the building and it’s now believed there were errors in construction or the ­design.