Cbus gets green light for $600m police headquarters

By The Financial Review (Nick Lenaghan)

Super fund Cbus Property has gained approval to build Victoria's new police headquarters, a $600 million-plus project that is the first to take advantage of new "public benefit" planning rules.

The 39-storey tower will rise next door to a smaller police station that Cbus Property has already developed on Spencer Street, at the western end of Melbourne's CBD.

The emerging policing hub is opposite the state's assessment prison and is said to be inspired by New York's 1 Police Plaza.

The 65,000-square-metre tower will become state's first purpose-built headquarters in more than half a century.
  
"The way our authorities fight crime is changing, and we're giving them the modern tools and resources they need," Planning Minister Richard Wynne said.
 
"This project ticks all the boxes. It's in keeping with our planning controls and it's a big benefit to the state of Victoria."

The new project, which was also endorsed by the city council, will exceed strict limits on CBD development brought in last year by the state government.

Those rules set a plot ratio of 18:1 to limit the density of development on city sites.

But the new rules also include an uplift provision that allows extra development for projects that include a public benefit, an initiative used in other cities around the world.
  
To qualify a project could include social housing, a childcare centre, public space, or even office space. 

 The new police centre has a plot ratio of almost 22:1.

City council planners noted earlier this month that the new police HQ met the public test benefit that would enable the extra development through its provision of office space.

The new centre will be home to 2500 personnel and will be occupied by state and federal police.

Cbus Property has already had success on the former Australia Post site, selling down a $115 million half stake in the City West police station already developed there to funds giant Invesco.
  
The way our authorities fight crime is changing, and we're giving them the modern tools and resources they need."

"This project ticks all the This project ticks all the boxes. It's in keeping with our planning controls and it's a big benefit to the state of Victoria."

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