Jonathan Chancellor | 20 November 2012

Fender Katsalidis' Australia 108 tower seeks $1,000 early buyer registrants

Fender Katsalidis' Australia 108 tower seeks $1,000 early buyer registrants

It's scheduled for mooted late 2015 completion and it doesn't actually have planning approval, but the developers of the Australia 108 tower in Melbourne's Southbank precinct are inviting buyer registrations.

It will cost $1,000. And registrants will get a pre-release briefing at a level 89 Eureka Tower event in February.

Prices start at $425,000 for one-bedroom apartments and from $575,000 for two-bedroom apartments. Its three bedrooms are priced from $775,000.

The 108-storey project was unveiled earlier this month as the southern hemisphere's tallest six-star hotel/apartment building – with its mooted mammoth 388-metre skyscraper high above Melbourne's Yarra River.

The site is set on the corner of City Road and Southbank Boulevard, and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) gave approval for a 72-storey, 226-metre, 532-unit skyscraper in September 2010 after a battle with Melbourne City Council.

The new project, if approved, will feature 600 apartments, plus the nation's highest hotel and restaurants floating 84 stories above the city.

The 108-storey tower, which will be the 18th-tallest building in the world, is planned to rise near the 297-metre Eureka Tower, with 91 storeys.

Architects Fender Katsalidis, which also built Eureka, gained planning approval for a 228-metre apartment building on the 70 Southbank Boulevard site in 2010, but architect Nonda Katsalidis has super-sized his plans, by adding a 288-room hotel and sky deck on top.

He says the economy has strengthened and Melbourne is more confident and ready for an iconic centrepiece.

"Buildings like this change cities, they make the city more dynamic, more interesting, more exciting," he said.

One of Australia 108's most striking features will be a two-storey sky lobby, which is set to house two restaurants and two bars, extending nine metres out of the building, 84 storeys above Melbourne.

The hotel check-in and swimming pool will also appear to hang over the city, with sections of glass floor enabling visitors to see all the way to the ground in a much larger version of Eureka's Sky Deck.

In July Property Observer reported the site was owned by Katsalidis and property developer Adrian Valmorbida from the Valmorbida family.

Although the project is in its preliminary design stage and will be subjected to a fresh planning application process, Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy has already commented that such a project being proposed underlined the confidence in Melbourne.

"Australia is coming of age, and our cities are growing upwards," Guy said.

"Taller buildings ... are a symbol of a growing nation, a strong economy, and they do have the ability to define a city," he said.

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