$1.5bn Charter Hall Tower in Melbourne CBD Gains Traction

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Charter Hall’s ambitious plans for a 34-storey mixed-use development in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD have ramped up. The works, proposed for 555 Collins Street, have passed a crucial hurdle and are now backed by City of Melbourne Councillors.

The proposal covers two sites that Charter Hall amalgamated on the corner of Collins and King streets, where intense regeneration efforts are under way for the precinct. To be built in two stages with separate lift and service cores, the project will deliver about 80,000 sq m of office space.

The project will be comprised of two Gensler Architecture and Cox Architecture-designed towers. The design principles pay heed to features of the site's earlier landmark, the fondly remembered Federal Coffee House, built during the 1880s boom before succumbing to the wreckers' ball in 1973.

"That was one of the most marvellous buildings of the Marvellous Melbourne era," Councillor Nicholas Reece told the council's planning committee meeting.

The hotel's demolition was "an act of vandalism on our city", he told the committee he headed, before going on to praise the Cox and Gensler design.

"It is only fitting to see this quite ambitious proposal is coming forward, that has been very well designed. It will achieve a very high standard for this end of the city."

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Although council planners have backed the billion-dollar project, the scheme is still subject to final approval from the Victorian government.

Charter Hall lodged the development application in April last year for the $1.5 billion project via its Prime Office Fund (CPOF).

The proposed works are yet to secure an anchor tenant, Simon Stockfeld, Charter Hall’s regional development director, said that the fund is currently “talking to a range of occupiers” along with plans to announce a builder on the project later this year.

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