Multiplex Preferred Builder on Flinders Bank

The Fender Katsalidis-designed Flinders Bank development is set to begin construction toward the year’s end, pending the finalised appointment of a preferred builder. 

The $800 million mixed-use complex, which will be made up of three towers comprising 500 high-end 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments and Australia’s first St Regis hotel, is rumoured to be in Multiplex’s pipeline after beating out Probuild for the bid. 

The project is the debut of Century Group Australia, the Australian arm of the partnership between Chinese developers Exhibition and Travel Group (ETG) and China Century Group. 

The 7,520 square metre site, which used to house the Melbourne Convention Centre, on the corner of Spencer and Flinders Streets, was purchased in 2016 for $97 million with approval for 1,100 apartments. 

After being acquired from Sydney-based Eureka Funds Management and Riverlee Group in 2017, new plans were drawn and its capacity was demoted, accommodating government requirements for affordable housing. 

Under affordable housing legislation, 20 apartments will be offered at 50 per cent below market rent for the life of the building, a move that helped secure approval for the development from Planning Minister Richard Wynne. 

The new design sees three terraced towers of up to 33 storeys, a 168-room luxury hotel by St Regis, 2,100 square metres of retail and a 500 square metre public plaza space. 

Design inspiration for the towers, which will have curved and undulating glass facades, was taken from the Yarra’s waves. 

The pedestrian plaza is planned for Siddeley Street, with a laneway linking it to Flinders Street and connecting the river to the city’s grid. The plaza is also designed to act as a conduit between the eastern and western towers. 

The towers will be terraced to adhere to the city’s overshadowing rules, with top floor residences enjoying private terraces overlooking the Yarra and Port Phillip Bay. 

Mr Wynne said “this is a good development in a prime location near Southern Cross Station, trams and public space along the Yarra River, which will provide more housing at the gateway between the CBD and Docklands.”

Urban designers Oculus have been engaged to develop the ground-floor plaza, which will see a mix of retail stores, cafes and restaurants set amongst feature landscaping. 

The project is slated for completion mid-2021. 

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