Fisherman’s Bend’s first hotel gets green light

The infinity-edge cantilevered pool at the Normanby Melbourne development will give residents and AC Hotel guests an impressive view to Melbourne’s CBD.

A 40-storey tower that will house Fishermans Bend’s first hotel has been given the green light, as dozens of other projects in the area remain on hold.

The state planning department yesterday confirmed the Capital Alliance development, to comprise 200 hotel rooms, 111 apartments and an infinity edge pool cantilevered six-storeys in the air, at Normanby Rd, Southbank.

It won approval after the state government put 26 other development applications on hold earlier this year, citing excessive building heights and poor design.

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Stalled projects will remain in limbo until revised planning controls are introduced later this year.

Two further planning amendments are awaiting determination within the urban renewal precinct for projects at 19 Salmon St, Port Melbourne, and on Ferrars St, Southbank.

The development has been given a green light in an urban renewal precinct that sit’s on Melbourne’s doorstep.

Capital Alliance bought the former scrapyard at 199-201 Normanby Rd with plans and permits for a 262-apartment tower.

But it has since scrapped large parts of the design, with founder Mohan Du stating the earlier design wouldn’t have got off the ground today.

“We have done a complete overhaul,” Du says.

“The reason we got the amendment through was because of the vast improvements we have made to the building.

“The previous development compared to what we have been approved on is a long way apart, and a tremendous uplift.”

The amended plans were drawn up by DKO Architecture to feature a full-width infinity edge pool cantilevered six-storeys in the air and Australia’s first AC Hotel — a European brand operated by Marriott International. The number of apartments has also been slashed.

Instead of a yellow and white coloured tower shown in earlier plans, the revised tower will be a combination of extensive glass and geometric patterns.

An artist impression of the new design by DKO Architecture and Capital Alliance.

Marriott International’s Richard Crawford says the AC Hotel marks another step towards tripling their hotel numbers in Melbourne.

“We will move from four hotels to a dozen in the next five years,” Crawford says.

“If you look at the demand outlook, the extra supply is going to be well and truly absorbed.

“The local economy and the international appeal of Australia is showing that we need more rooms.”

The development will offer a striking welcome at ground level.

He expects more than 50% of occupancy will come from Marriott International’s existing members, and that a growing portion of hotel guests were internationals visiting friends and family that lived away from central Melbourne.

The development will be under construction before the AFL Grand Final this year, with apartments to start selling within the week.

It’s due to be completed late-2020.

Du says buyers are turning their backs on projects with hundreds of tiny apartments.

“In the current environment, any development with a couple of hundred apartments to sell is a feat in itself.”

“No one wants to live in shoeboxes any more.”

It will be the second Capital Alliance development to ban buyers from leasing their apartments for short-stay accommodation, like Airbnb.

The developer announced they would ban short-term stay rentals from The Docklands project earlier this year, where it is also partnering with Marriott International.

This article from Herald Sun originally appeared as “40-storey tower gets the nod despite Fishermans Bend limbo”.