VIC

Alistair Walsh | 17 March 2013

Tallest building in southern hemisphere approved for Melbourne

Victorian planning minister Matthew Guy has approved plans to build the tallest highrise in the southern hemisphere, despite concerns it will cast a shadow over the Shrine of Remembrance.

Australia 108, a proposed 108-storey apartment and hotel tower, came under fire from Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle who said it could overshadow the Shrine of Remembrance and that at 388 metres it exceeded the city council's height limits.

The tower will be 91 metres higher that the Eureka tower.

Guy announced on Twitter this morning that he had approved the $600 million development saying he had no objection from the Shrine trustees and that it would provide hundreds of jobs while taking pressure off existing suburbs.

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Architects Fender Katsalidis, who designed the nearby Eureka Tower, are behind the Australia 108 project, which would be the world's 18th tallest building at 70 Southbank Boulevard.

According to The Age, the project is backed by private investors Nonda Katsalidis, Benni Aroni, Adrian Valmorbida, Ian Fayman, Gary Caulfield and Mark Hopkinson.

Apartments in the building start at $425,00 for a 1 bedroom unit, $575,00 for a two bedroom and $775,00 for a three bedroom. There will be 664 apartments.

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The building will feature a six star hotel with 288 rooms from levels 83 to 101 with two restaurants and two bars which will feature glass floors looking straight down to the ground.

The building will include landscaped terraces above the carpark, a pool and gym, a theatre seating up to 40 people, a function room, a library, a business centre and a fresh food market and a café.

Work on the project is due to start later this year.

In a press release issued later, Guy said the building will be an outstanding addition to the Melbourne skyline.

"I am proud to approve a tower that will define our city for many years to come and which I am sure will become as iconic a Melbourne landmark as Flinders Street Station or Federation Square," Guy writes.

"The Australia 108 mixed-use tower will be an icon both visually and for those who will live in it, stay at its hotel, dine at the level 84 Sky Lounge or visit the level 108 Star Bar.

"Towers such as Australia 108 are consistent with the Coalition Government's drive to concentrate high-density development in defined areas and out of existing, quiet neighbourhoods.

"Every apartment in this tower is one less apartment in an existing quiet neighbourhood."

Q1, in the Gold Coast is the current tallest building in the southern hemisphere at 323 metres, followed by the Eureka Tower in Melbourne at 265 metres, 120 Collins Street in Melbourne at 265 metres, 101 Collins Street in Melbourne at 260 metres and the Rialto Towers in Melbourne at 251 metres.