Tall & Urban News

New Plans Emerge for Melbourne Convention Center Site

28 March 2018 | Melbourne, Australia

An AU$800 million (US$614 million) apartment and hotel complex has been unveiled on the banks of Melbourne’s Yarra River in a partnership between China Century Group and Exhibition and Travel Group on the former Melbourne convention center site.

New plans by the partner’s Australian development entity Century Group Aus will see three terraced towers of up to 33 stories designed by Fender Katsalidis revitalize the area with an activated precinct for residents and visitors.

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The 4,500-square-meter site at 7-23 Spencer Street has laid dormant for several years after the former Congress Centre/Convention Centre behind Crowne Plaza was demolished.

Named Flinders Bank, the precinct will feature 500 luxury apartments, 167 five-star hotel rooms, 2,100 square meters of retail, and a vibrant pedestrian precinct and plaza on Siddeley Street that will contribute to Melbourne’s public art reputation.

The site was purchased by Chinese developer Nuway Wy for AU$97 million (US$74 million) in 2016 and came with approval for 1100 apartments across three towers. Century Group Aus acquired the site in late 2016. 

The new plans by Century Group Aus are cutting the number of apartments to 500 and including the hotel.

“Flinders Bank will contribute enormously to the betterment of this part of the city, where a new DNA is emerging and lots of new life is being created,” said Karl Fender, founding partner of Fender Katsalidis.

“This is the front door to the city and what is being created here is a whole new precinct that has people at its heart. Holistically, this strengthens the connectivity of Docklands to the CBD and increases the stature of our city.”

Century Group Aus’ chief executive Connie Wu said the company intends to tap into its relationships with many of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands to bring landmark accommodation to the city and is undergoing final negotiations with a hotel operator.

 “This is a strategically important site for Melbourne, and we feel a great responsibility to create a precinct that locals and visitors will engage with,” Wu said.

Construction of Flinders Bank is expected to commence in early 2019, with the project to be released in three stages and completed in approximately mid-2021.

For more on this story, go to The Urban Developer