Heritage at Heart of Central Equity’s $470m High-Rise


Multiplex has reached a construction milestone on Central Equity’s $470 million Melbourne Grand, topping out the new 58-level apartment tower.

The Guilford Bell and Graham Fisher-designed high-rise, at 560 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne’s CBD, comprises 646 apartments with sweeping views of Melbourne’s CBD.

Topping out on level 58—some 200 metres above street level—Melbourne Grand represents Multiplex’s 18th project for Eddie Kutner-led Central Equity, one of Australia’s largest private developers.

Considered one of the nation's most prolific operators, Central Equity has completed more than 80 projects—primarily residential developments in Melbourne’s inner city and suburbs—since its incorporation in 1987.

Multiplex has delivered multiple Melbourne CBD apartment towers including Southbank Place, Southbank One and Southbank Grand for the business—with the latter, at 151 City Road, along with the nearby Melbourne One at 618 Lonsdale Street, both notable for their incorporation of a heritage-listed buildings.

Melbourne Grand is set to continue this trend, with one of the city’s oldest buildings to be restored and integrated into the development.

Situated within the tight confines of one of Melbourne’s busy foot-traffic laneways and legal precinct, the heritage-listed early Victoria-era building at 556 Lonsdale Street, built around 1851, was for many years the Temperance Hotel and later a spaghetti bar.

Archival streetscape featuring the heritage-listed former Temperance Hotel at 556 Lonsdale Street, built around 1851, which will be incorporated into Central Equity's $470m Melbourne Grand development.
▲ The heritage-listed former Temperance Hotel at 556 Lonsdale Street, built around 1851, will be incorporated into the development.

Multiplex Victoria’s regional managing director, Graham Cottam, said the company was proud to have reached this major construction milestone and continue its ongoing collaboration with Central Equity.

“Melbourne Grand will not only house a vibrant new vertical community, it will also help preserve more of Melbourne’s history with the restoration of 556 Lonsdale Street,” Cottam said.

According to Multiplex, 2200 workers have worked on site to meet the milestone, with innovative construction methods including façade installation behind formwork screens, as well as precast elements used for cantilevered sections.

Multiplex was founded in 1962 in Perth by John Roberts, and went on to build many large projects such as King Street Wharf in Sydney and Wembley Stadium before being purchased by listed Canadian private equity player Brookfield Asset Management for more than $4 billion in 2007.

In 2016 Brookfield was dropped from its name and the contractor rebranded to Multiplex while still remaining a Brookfield company.

Projects currently under way include stage one of OSK Property’s $2.8 billion Melbourne Square, as well as Brisbane’s $3.6 billion “city shaping” Queen's Wharf project.

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