Malaysian-backed developer Beulah International has entered into the next phase of its AU$2 billion (US$1.4 billion) Southbank project in Melbourne’s CBD, lodging plans with the Victorian government.
The proposal for two twisting geometric towers by Dutch architecture firm UNStudio and Melbourne-based Cox Architecture beat five other proposals for the landmark site over a six-month global search.
The taller of the two towers, an apartment skyscraper, will rise to 356.2 meters under the proposal, making it one of the tallest towers in the Southern Hemisphere, dwarfing nearby Australia 108 at 317 meters.
The shorter of the towers will boast commercial offices, featuring both indoor and outdoor green terraces.
Beulah, run by Adelene Teh and partner Jiaheng Chan, acquired the 6,061-square-meter BMW Southbank site late 2017 in a deal valued at more than AU$100 million (US$67.8 million).
The German car maker struck a preferred partner-style deal with Beulah to retain its presence on the landmark site, now set to host to a 30,000-square-meter state-of-the-art BMW experience center.
“Our project is a vote of confidence in Melbourne’s economy, and it will transform Southbank,” Beulah managing director Jiaheng Chan said. “It’s our vision to improve the urban environment on City Road and create an internationally significant landmark that will be a vibrant mini metropolis for people to live, work, shop, learn, play, and stay.”
The proposed mixed-use lifestyle precinct, dubbed Southbank by Beulah, will span 270,000 square meters, with 13,500 square meters dedicated to arts and cultural programs.
The development will have four distinct collections of private residences, 35,000 square meters of commercial offices; a 220-room, five-star hotel; a 6,600-square-meter conference center, a 4,000-square-meter fresh food marketplace, and a 7,250-square-meter area dedicated to public green spaces.
“The taller of the two towers, an apartment skyscraper, will rise to 356.2 meters under the proposal, making it one of the tallest towers in the Southern Hemisphere.”
At the heart of the project is an elevated civic square, childcare, cultural podium, and wellness precinct connected together within a public realm.
The shorter tower will also feature a five-star urban resort, topped with a restaurant and views of the Melbourne skyline.
“We have worked closely with both the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the City of Melbourne and are inspired by their vision for Southbank,” Chan said.
“We believe this project will significantly support the wider transformation of the area by creating a green, active, connected urban environment that invites and encourages an enjoyable experience for both residents and visitors.”
The developer has also planned for a network of internal and external artwork commissions to deliver new, high quality, activated public spaces for residents, visitors, and workers.
“We see this project as an extension of the famous Arts Precinct and we are already in discussions with prospective prominent local and international art collaborators to create an experience to complement the current arts offering,” Chan said.
Beulah is already a busy player in the Melbourne market, and has secured complex development deals on tightly-held city sites.
In September 2016, it locked in an AU$25.6 million (US$17.3 million) development deal for the 140-year-old premises of the Celtic Club.
Beulah received AU$100 million (US$67.8 million) in financing from Malaysian Maybank for Paragon, its 48-story luxury apartment tower development at the site and commenced construction on the tower late last year.
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