Mirvac BTR Plans a Step Further on Convention Site

2 February 2021

Mirvac’s plans for the old Melbourne convention Centre site took a step forward this week with planning approval given for a $1bill two tower mixed use development.

Mirvac acquired the site for $200m in 2019 from Asian development group Century Group Australia. Mirvac are yet to settle on the site.

At that time, the site had planning approval for 2 commercial towers, a hotel and a residential tower. Mirvac sought to amend the proposal to consolidate two towers into a single office tower, and to remove the hotel use in the third tower to increase the number of dwellings.

With approval the finalise deign now approved, Mirvac will build a 45,000-square-metre, 20-level office tower with floor plates up to 3000 square metres in area, as well as a 32-level build-to-rent tower with 472 apartments at 7 Spencer Street. The estimated cost of the project is $220 million.

The 32-level build-to-rent tower will have units ranging from studios to three bedroom apartments as well as a pool, gym, co-working spaces, multimedia and wellness rooms and business lounges.

As part of the Approval, Mirvac have agreed to provide 20 of the units as Affordable accommodation, leased at 50% of the market rate to key worker tenants who meet the income tests for very low, low and moderate incomes test.

Typical Build to Rent Floor Plan

The office tower will have 20 levels, with floor plates of up to 3000sq m, and also sport sustainability features.

Typical Low Rise Office Floor Plate

The endorsed 2016 Master Plan requires the development to be constructed in a single stage. The amended application seeks to amend this requirement to allow for the development to be completed in three stages (A, B & C). Stage A comprises the Tower 2 site up to the northern kerb of Siddeley Street, Stage C comprises the Tower 1 site up to the southern kerb of Siddeley Street and Stage B comprises just the Siddeley Street road itself, to be delivered with whichever of Stages A or C is implemented first.

The development team for this proposal consists of two different Mirvac entities. One entity heads up the commercial scheme for Tower 1 and the other for the Build to Rent scheme for Tower 2. Mirvac have not yet determined which stage of the proposal will be undertaken first hence the request to allow the development to be completed in three stages.

The BTR tower forms part of Mirvac strategy to build 5,000 BTR units within 5 years. Mirvac currently has about 1635 BTR apartments in the pipeline worth $1.12 billion.

The list of BTR developers and site is growing. UBS analysts Tom Bodor and Grant McCasker believe that the BTR sector could supply 10,000 units each year from 2023, providing much needed scale and liquidity to the new sector which from an institutional point of view will provide a core alternative to the office and retail sectors which are facing significant headwinds.

Development Consent

A copy of the Ministers Planning Referral document assessment, plans and conditions is available below.