Strong support for new tower on last NewQuay West waterfront block

NewQuay Tower 3
NewQuay Tower 2
NewQuay Tower 1
David Schout

Plans for a 36-storey residential tower on the final vacant block on NewQuay’s waterfront have been given strong support by City of Melbourne councillors.

The proposed building, which would sit opposite Ron Barassi Snr Park, will feature 234 apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms, and was praised for its design.

The project, which has an estimated cost of $160 million, will notably feature a linear park to the north.

At 118 metres high, it would sit just inside the maximum height limit of 120 metres for the area.

A report from council officers noted the development would “sit comfortably” in its prominent NewQuay position, avoided “blank walls” and ensured pedestrian access points were visible from the public realm.

Speaking at a July 12 Future Melbourne Committee meeting, planning chair Cr Nicholas Reece said the development marked another chapter in the local area.

“Tonight is a significant milestone in the history of Docklands — this development is the last waterfront block to be developed in the NewQuay waterfront precinct,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

“Over the last 20-plus years we have seen what was an old industrial area transformed into a trendy residential and retail complex.”

Cr Reece said the tower would complement the waterfront area.

“I’m particularly pleased to see the handmade bricks at the lower levels and there’s a lot of fine-grain detail at the ground plane. It’s terrific to see the activations on all sides and it’s great to see the promenade and water on one side, and the new linear park on the other. This is going to be really vibrant, buzzing part of Docklands in a few short years.”

The development was unanimously given the green light by councillors on the condition that minor improvements were made to refine the building’s carpark design, apartment layouts and facade on one side.

The site is part of a larger redevelopment parcel of land that sits at the western end of NewQuay Promenade.

Within the development plan area there is a requirement for different architects for each of the lots on the site, ensuring a varied streetscape.

Cr Reece noted the “high quality” design of the proposed building, which he said followed a recent trend of new development in NewQuay.

“There have been some great new buildings going up in Docklands in recent times, and I single out the Escala and Banksia buildings as great examples. It seems that the MAB buildings have got better and better as they’ve gone along. This building, with architects Wood Marsh, looks like it’s going to be a real standout in Docklands.”

Deputy planning chair Cr Rohan Leppert said the significant investment in the local area “very clearly complies with the development plan” and supported the project.

It is proposed that the tower would comprise the following 234 apartments: 42 with one bedroom, 116 with two bedrooms, 73 with three bedrooms, and three with four bedrooms.

A common amenities area is proposed on the seventh floor, featuring an indoor pool, steam room, sauna and treatment rooms, meeting rooms, a shared lounge and kitchen, function rooms, a gym and a separate yoga room.

An external rooftop area is also proposed, comprising plants, seating areas and outdoor amenities.

The application now goes to the state planning minister for approval. •

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