It’s an upmarket Collins Street tower with a low-riding nickname: the Pantscraper. Cbus Property on Thursday officially launched the development of a $1.2 billion mixed-use tower that combines office space, with a hotel and ritzy apartments.
Cbus Property on Thursday officially launched the development of a $1.2 billion mixed-use tower that combines office space, with a hotel and ritzy apartments.
Its unique design, joining two towers with skybridge, resembles, in the eyes of many Melburnians, a pair of sky-high strides.
It may not be the name that Cbus wants – the developer prefers the more sober-sounding Collins Arch – but it seems to have stuck.
Planning Minister Richard Wynne made the moniker official at a sod-turning ceremony on Thursday, that included Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo, Cbus chairman Steve Bracks and the city’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
“Already the people of Melbourne have adopted this building and will take it to their heart,” said Mr Wynne said.
“Whether it’s in fact called the Pantscraper or Collins Arch it doesn’t matter. This is a wonderful and iconic building for Melbourne.”
It took three attempts before Cbus finally won planning approval for a scaled-back project from Mr Wynne in April this year. Even so, it is the city’s largest single project.
The original design overshadowed the Yarra River. The final design, by local architects Woods Bagot and New York firm SHoP Architects, includes 2000 square metres of public space on the large island site.
The city council has agreed to close off half the adjoining Market Street for a 1500-square-metre “pocket park”, creating another drawcard for the emerging mid-city landmark.
The Lord Mayor said the new park’s name should reflect the area’s historic significance as the site of the city’s first official fruit and vegetable market.
Cr Doyle had high praise for the project and the way its open space engaged Collins Street and connected the city’s main business boulevard to the Yarra River.
“This is Collins Street. This is one of the premier streets in Australia. You want to make great cities: make great streets. We’ve got an exemplary development here,” he said.
“And good luck calling it Collins Arch, it will always be the Pantscraper, I reckon.”
However it is known, the project is already filling with tenants. Legal firm King & Wood Mallesons has taken an anchor tenancy in the 43,000-square-metre commercial tower.
Cbus is also preparing to sign with an international investor and hotel operator to run the project’s five-star, 294-room hotel.
Later this month Mr Pozzo and his team will launch pre-sales of the project’s 202 luxury apartments, many with tiered terraces overlooking the Yarra.
“There are not many Collins Street addresses with luxury residential apartments,” Mr Pozzo said. Then he added, prompting laughter: “Register your interest please. Sorry, I had to do that.”
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