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Plans revised for Docklands’ tallest apartment tower

David Schout

Developer Mirvac has re-submitted plans for a 45-storey apartment tower at Yarra’s Edge, in what is set to become Docklands’ highest residential building.

The revised planning application includes a reduction of apartments from 222 to 191 and a halving of commercial space.

The proposed building at 118-122 Lorimer St, known as Tower 9, would rise 158 metres with a 10.8-metre crown.

It would surpass the recently completed Voyager tower nearby, which sits at 43 storeys and 138 metres, as the area’s tallest apartment tower.

The recently completed Victoria Police headquarters on Spencer Streets is Docklands’ overall highest building, at 180 metres.

Key changes from a previously-approved permit at Tower 9 include: an overall height increase of 10.2 metres, a reduction of dwellings from 222 to 191 (due to increased floor-to-ceiling heights) and — perhaps unsurprisingly given the shift to working from home arrangement during COVID-19 — a reduction in the number of ground level commercial tenancies from five to three.

This would more than halve the total commercial floor space from 361 square metres to 169 square metres.

There are also changes to the proposed publicly accessible areas around the building.

Most notably, according to the revised application, was “the deletion of the previously proposed wharf (as generally agreed with the relevant authorities) and a more natural and less formal approach to the waterfront promenade.” Overall, however, it noted that “the architectural expression of the building remains largely the same, including the proposed materiality, building setbacks and overall building form”.

Promoted as “book-ending Collins St, with a north-facing riverfront aspect”, Mirvac expected Tower 9 to attract purchasers searching for luxury apartments at the premium end of the market.

The group’s Victorian general manager for residential Elysa Anderson said it would “connect residents with nature and promoting a sense of health and wellbeing”.

“This spectacular building is planned to rise from the bank of the river creating a new legacy for Yarra’s Edge and a new icon on Melbourne’s skyline, with its enviable location at the end of the Collins St axis,” she said.

Mirvac confirmed that 82 per cent of the nearby Voyager building had been sold.

Almost four in five buyers (78 per cent) in the first half of 2021 were owner-occupiers.

“We are seeing continued resilience in the Melbourne property market, with Voyager receiving strong demand from owner occupiers for quality apartments, supported by exceptional amenity,” Ms Anderson said.

Head of residential Stuart Penklis said the development reinforced Mirvac’s confidence in the Victorian apartment market as the state looked to further ease restrictions at the end of 2021.

“Mirvac is focused on accelerating our supply of high-quality apartments in Victoria as we anticipate there will be a shortage of owner occupier residences in premium locations in the future,” he said.

“The strength of the established housing market and the opening up of international borders will continue to drive very strong demand for well-designed and quality constructed apartments just like Voyager and Tower 9.”

Tower 9 is one of Mirvac’s final buildings in its two-decade project at Yarra’s Edge; the only Docklands precinct south of the Yarra River •

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