Melbourne City Plans $232m Revamp of CBD Block


The City of Melbourne has plans for a $232 million revitalisation project that would redevelop almost an entire central-city block.

The proposed redevelopment between Bourke Street and Little Collins Street includes retail and commercial opportunities in Melbourne’s central city.

The 10-storey, 40-metre development would feature ground-floor retail spaces, two new laneway connections, commercial office space, new council offices and two public-accessible rooftops.

If approved, a tender for the project will go out to developers early next year.

Related: Melbourne Trumps Sydney as Top Investment and Development Destination

Bourke Street precinct, concept image.
Bourke Street precinct, concept image. City of Melbourne

City of Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp said the plan will create a new landmark for Melbourne in terms of sustainable urban design, with almost two-thirds of the new precinct used for community spaces, commercial and retail.

“Our current Council House 1 building on Little Collins Street is more than 50 years old and it’s no longer feasible to refurbish it,” she said.

“Redeveloping this site has opened up an opportunity to create a new civic precinct and also restore the Victorian Heritage-listed former Commonwealth Bank building on Bourke Street.”

Capp says the heart of the precinct will contain a public forum, a large, flexible meeting space at ground level designed to encourage community engagement.

Councillors will consider a recommendation to submit an application for a planning permit next Monday.

Along with a focus on sustainable attributes, deputy mayor Arron Wood says the commercial component would “create significant revenue” ensuring a robust business case for the project which is estimated to “break even within 20 years”.

“We will also bring to life our globally recognised urban forest and biodiversity strategies by greening laneways, creating a garden atrium, and providing green rooftops for the community to enjoy.”

Subject to planning approvals, construction is expected to commence in early 2020, for a 2024 completion.

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