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Green light for Collins Wharf

31 May 2016

Green light for Collins Wharf Image

By Sean Car

Developer Lend Lease has been given the City of Melbourne’s seal of approval to construct a 29-storey development at number one Collins Wharf, Docklands.

The application will now be referred to the Minister for Planning for approval after councillors unanimously supported the proposal at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on June 17.

In what will become a significant piece of the Victoria Harbour jigsaw puzzle, the $106 million development will comprise 321 apartments, 290 car parks, 312 bike spaces and 68 sqm of ground floor retail space.

However, while councillors supported the proposal in large part, some concerns were raised with the developer at the meeting regarding the lack of street activation immediately facing the west side of Buluk Park on Collins St.

Both Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and Cr Rohan Leppert quizzed Lend Lease Victoria Harbour project manager Tim Campbell as to whether additional retail could be provided to help activate the remaining edge of the public square.

Mr Campbell said, while the focus had mainly been on activating the street edge facing the Y7 building, he would investigate options for the Collins St frontage.

“Just to highlight what we did do through the design process, was to actually add in the retail. So originally there wasn’t any retail and the focus of the retail was actually at the Y7 site,” he said.

“We’ve also included outdoor seating, which goes all along the southern facade and opens out on to that space as well.”

“We could look at the additional retail, which could help with the activation on the Collins St frontage,” Mr Campbell said.

Cr Rohan Leppert told the meeting that while he generally supported the development, he would only do so on the condition that the developer explored further ways of activating Collins St.  

“The application generally conforms with the development plan and is a very positive addition to the city down there at that interesting and quickly-growing area,” he said.

“We need to have interesting, activated land-uses of the ground floor on all sides of that square. We’ve got it to the north of the library and to the south and the east. Let’s try and get it to the west as well.”

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