Gurner’s Southbank Build-to-Rent Conversion Approved
The updated plans for Gurner's Southbank tower have been accepted.
As part of a $350-million, 41-story tower construction, serviced apartments on the property will be replaced with a build-to-rent offering.
In October, the City of Melbourne received a development proposal for the 1625sq m site at 334 City Road, which was designed by Warren and Mahoney.
The project is the second seed asset in the Gurner Qualitas build-to-rent platform; the group now controls two other seed assets in Melbourne, but they are still constrained by secrecy agreements.
The amended project, which includes 396 build-to-rent apartments, a private gym on the ground and first floors, and a new exterior, was unanimously accepted by the Future Melbourne Committee this week.
There will be a focus on hospitality on the ground floor, middle floors, and rooftop, as well as a "world-class health and wellness district," according to Gurner founder Tim Gurner.
“Our Southbank project at 334 City Road will bring together world-class amenities, luxury interiors, facilities and service, allowing us to provide leading residential options to those at the top end of the rental market,” Gurner said.
“We are really thrilled with the recent support and look forward to obtaining planning approval shortly so that we can start construction in the new year, with a completion date forecast 28 months later.”
Gurner's general manager of design, Alexander Fin, explained that they wanted to "improve the design" of the granted permission for the property they had purchased, which had led to a design competition for the redesigned structure.
“We consider [this] to be a vast improvement … we acquired the site with a permit that was permitted in 2016,” Fin said.
“We’re serious about development and we’re serious about developing great buildings.”
According to Warren and Mahoney principal Nick Deans, the "resident experience" oriented remodel also sharpened its internal floorplates and built form to give greater living and sleeping spaces.
“Our vision for the project is to create a world-class build-to-rent project, setting a new benchmark for this asset class in Melbourne,” Deans said.
“We have enhanced [the 2016 permit] with a fully activated podium, lower street wall, high quality apartment layouts coupled with a contemporary design response.”
56 studios, 128 one-bedroom apartments, 198 two-bedroom apartments, and 12 three-bedroom apartments will be available in the tower. It will be a net-zero energy building that uses no gas and has a 5-Star Green Star Rating and a 6.5 Nabers Rating.
The City of Melbourne council had previously rejected plans for the site twice, but the revamped scheme will "make its mark in Southbank," according to Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece.
“Gurner is a developer well-known for putting a premium on architecture and design, and when need be, being quite edgy with their design,” he said.
“It will make a distinguished contribution to the Southbank skyline.
“I think the new use and the inclusion of build-to-rent dwellings is something which we should support. Having a range of alternative pathways for people into residential accommodation in Melbourne is a good thing.”
Gurner founder Tim Gurner stated earlier this year that, subject to approval, demolition on the site would commence in early 2022.