Second-tallest skyscraper heralds high-rise era for Melbourne
A NEW era of super skyscrapers has started in Melbourne with approval for the city's second-tallest tower.
A decade after Eureka Tower opened, a soaring 276m skyscraper will rise on the Queensbridge Hotel site at Southbank.
And Planning Minister Matthew Guy says more are on the way.
The 71-storey, $274 million Queensbridge development will be just 21m shorter than the nearby Eureka Tower, making it the third-tallest building in Australia.
It will boast 592 luxury apartments and a ground-floor mezzanine retail area.
Made of three platinum and silver glass cylinders, the tower will dwarf the 200m, 62-floor Freshwater Place building next door - angering of many Freshwater residents.
They will lose much of their view, despite Mr Guy increasing the proposed distance between the two towers to 10m.
Mr Guy said the Queensbridge development underlined what Melbourne's building future should be.
"I want architectural excellence and height," he said. "I want buildings that inspire Victorians. If this can be done in the right place, and with beauty, then the sky's the limit.
"I want skyscrapers in the enlarged CBD. That's where they belong."
The Schiavello Group, which won approval for the Queensbridge Tower, is also building the 250m, 67-storey Prima Pearl Tower next door.
Another 226m tower at 70 Southbank Boulevard has been approved, while a 250m tower at 23 Queensbridge St is being considered.
Mr Guy said approval for the Queensbridge development stipulated it must be completed within six years.
The project is expected to create more than 800 jobs during construction and in ongoing retail.
Real Estate Institute of Victoria spokesman Robert Larocca said planning approval was only half the battle. Schiavello had to pre-sell enough apartments to commence building.
"When you look around Melbourne, people are clearly buying these places. We are going to need housing into the future, and this is how a lot of it is going to be delivered," he said.