The redevelopment of Melbourne’s former German Club has been approved by the City of Melbourne which will see the addition of a 23-storey office tower added to the “Paris end” of Collins Street.
Site owner Seafirst Australia, a private family investment company owned by Rupert Murdoch's sister Janet Calvert-Jones and her stockbroker husband John, lodged plans for the rectangular site, at 7-19 Alfred Place, in 2017.
The property sits between Collins and Little Collins Streets, and is home to the four-storey rendered brick building.
While Cavert-Jones declined to comment on the plans for the project, the application proposes partial demolition of the existing heritage building and construction of the Chris Connell-designed 80-metre office tower.
Construction of the tower, which includes cost of works to be around $24.5 million, includes 19-storeys above the retained heritage four-storey building.
Connell told The Urban Developer his design team wanted to embrace and restore what was already there.
“Taking the less is more approach is very much part of our mantra here. We believe that is important. To design something that has longevity in look, but also in practicality,” he said.
“And to design something that meets planning issues and requirements, and to have the support of the council, we’re pretty proud.”
“What we’ve designed is sympathetic to its surroundings and we were mindful of not overdeveloping the site.”
The commercial building, which comprises existing restaurants at ground and first floors, existing offices on the second floor, a lobby and meeting rooms on the third floor will comprise office space in the new tower.
The former German club was constructed originally in 1887 as a single storey building. It was purchased in 1918 by the Naval & Military Club where the upper floors were added.
During the development application’s public notice period the proposal received 19 objections.
The site, purchased by Seafirst in 2006, has proximity to the Stamford Plaza at 123 Little Collins Street, a 22-storey commercial and retail building at 90-98 Collins Street, and a 52-storey commercial building at 120 Collins Street.