Architect eyes on Montague

A flood of apartment tower plans are expected to hit Planning Minister Matthew Guy's desk as landowners take advantage of new zoning regulations in South Melbourne.

A flood of apartment tower plans are expected to hit Planning Minister Matthew Guy's desk as landowners take advantage of new zoning regulations in South Melbourne.

At least 4500 apartments in 17 towers are being mooted or already submitted to the minister in the new Montague precinct, a small pocket of Fishermans Bend just south of the CBD.

Mr Guy last July rezoned 240 hectares there into four CBD-style mini-suburbs - Montague, Lorimer, Sandridge and Wirraway - to accommodate 50,000 residents. Since then, plans have firmed for 17 towers in the Montague area alone.

The new suburb is attractive to developers because it is close to the city and lacks residential neighbours, which means there are likely to be few objections.

The rash of plans follows the minister's green light for the southern hemisphere's tallest residential tower, the 388-metre Australia Tower, and 19 other apartment projects in the past 28 months.

Three owner-developers are working to co-ordinate views, height, overlooks and wind effects from at least 1900 apartments in nine separate towers they hope to build at the end of Ferrars Street.

Their plans are expected to be finalised in the next few months.

Developer MAB Corporation wants to put 700 apartments in three towers on a former industrial site at 15-35 Gladstone Street. The buildings will rise between 25 and 29 levels on the now-vacant land.

A neighbouring business, Carlin Motor Auctions, has employed architects Rothelowman to draft plans for four towers between 25 and 35 levels to house at least 900 apartments on its site.

"We won't be developing it ourselves. We hope to get the plans approved and then sell it in stages," said director Rob Carlin, who owns part of the Buckhurst Street site. "We'd expect to be lodging plans within the next six weeks or so."

Mr Carlin said he had been talking to the council for 22 years about planning and rezoning changes.

Another neighbour is Map Coffee founder Pitzy Folk. His headquarters is in a former warehouse on Ferrars Street that he converted to an office building with a garden and olive trees.

"I don't want to be overly greedy with the site. I'm quite emotionally attached to it, so I want to do something better," he said.

Under plans by Jackson Clements Burrows and Charles Inglis architects, Map's warehouse is likely to make way for 300 apartments in two 20-storey towers.

BusinessDay previously has reported developer Vicland is proposing a huge $1 billion complex - two 50-level towers and two smaller ones - nearby at 60-82 Johnson Street.

Vicland's village will house 1600 apartments and up to 2500 residents.

The volume of new developments has prompted industry concern that Melbourne faces an oversupply of apartments.

Tall orders

1 Developer Viclands 60-82 Johnston St 1600 apartments 4 towers, 21 to 50 levels

2 Developer Austpac Bill Boerkamp 123 Montague St 685 apartments, 3 towers, 21-29 levels

3 Developer/owner Adrian Bogatez 134 Ferrars St 381 apartments, 1 tower, 50 levels

4 Developer/owner Pitzy Folk 300+ apartments, 2 towers, 20 levels

5 Developer/owner Rob Carlin 6-74 Buckhurst St 900 apartments, 4 towers, 25 to 35 levels

6 Developer MAB Corporation 15-35 Gladstone St 700 apartments, 3 towers, 25-29 levels

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