In seeking to create great project outcomes, we also make the occasional headline. Here are the latest stories, opinions and commentary about 3L Alliance projects and related issues, from local and international media.

29 March 2016

Fender Katsalidis, Cox twin towers to be among tallest in Melbourne

Victoria’s Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has approved a twin tower development in Melbourne’s CBD designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects (FKA) and Cox Architecture.

The $750 million project, dubbed Queens Place, is sited near the crest of Flagstaff Hill, the highest point in Melbourne, making the 270-metre, 79-storey residential towers among the tallest buildings in the city when completed.

Developer 3L Alliance ran a limited design competition for the site in which FKA and Cox Architecture submitted separate schemes. At the conclusion of the competition the developer suggested the architects combine their proposals, blending Cox Architecture’s podium design and FKA’s towers, which resulted in the practices’ collaboration on the project.

The development at 350 Queen Street is located one block south of the Queen Victoria Market, which is also slated for development. The design scheme aims to connect with this context.

“We know the market precinct is about to change quite dramatically,” said Patrick Ness, design director at Cox Architecture. “Our early thought was […] to generate a project that links in with the broader streetscape.”

Nicky Drobis, director of design at Fender Katsalidis, added, “It was really a ground plane-led solution for the site.”

The five-level podium is conceived as a three-dimensional public space, with a series of arcades and laneways that will be activated with a mixed-use program consisting of a crèche, a gym, workplaces, residential (in the form of loft apartments), retail and restaurants. “It’s like a mini-town,” Ness said.

“Rob Adams [director of city design at the City of Melbourne] talks about how the first 25 metres of a building defines exactly what it is – what kind of life can come into that space. So instead of the podium being a foyer with Prada in it, [it’s designed] as a liveable, useable, breathing thing.”

An existing 21-storey commercial office building on the site will be retained. “We’ve re-skinned it in a way that it can engage with the new streets,” Ness explained. “We’re putting new program in it so that it becomes a contributor to the public realm.

“The second thing is it’s a bit like a pebble in a stream. It forms the way that the streets and lanes moved around it.”

Above the podium levels rise two residential towers containing 1,600 apartments ranging from one- to four-bedrooms.

“These tower forms are very much of the school of sculpted buildings sheathed in a simple and sleek façade,” Drobis said. “It starts with the most efficient floor plate which is a double loaded, single corridor floor plate. And the external shaping of the façade gives us the form of the building.”

The tower forms step away from each other as they ascend towards the sky and are topped with a “lit crown.”

“It’s a screening mechanism – it serves a purpose in terms of discreetly hiding all of the plant and utility zones up on the roof,” Drobis explained. “But it acts as a marker for those two towers within the landscape.”

The project will be constructed in two stages, the first is the tower to north of the site, which will then be followed by the southern tower.

Source: ArchitectureAU

12 March 2016

Mega apartment project gets green light in Melbourne CBD

A syndicate of expatriate Chinese investors has won approval to develop a $1 billion, high-rise apartment project, creating one of the largest residential developments in the Melbourne CBD.

Approval for the massive project, which will deliver 1800 apartments in twin 79-storey towers, comes amid growing unease the apartment boom will culminate in oversupply.

A grim scenario has been outlined for the Melbourne and Brisbane markets especially, with forecaster BIS Shrapnel predicting a “messy end” to the boom.

Undaunted, the 3L Alliance is pressing ahead with a spectacular project, dubbed Queens Place and designed by high-profile architects Fender Katsalidis and Cox Architecture.

The syndicate – the family names of its shareholders begin with the letter L – bought the 350 Queen Street site off-market two years ago for $135 million.

On the 7295-square-metre site already is a 21-storey tower, with plenty of room to develop further. The site is on a corner with La Trobe Street, near the popular Queen Victoria Market precinct.

Recruited to the 3L Alliance camp is heavy-hitting consultancy Hawker Britton, better known for its work lobbying governments than for spruiking property developments.

“We’ve deliberately set out to be an exemplar project in design and community outcome,” said 3L Alliance general manager Gavin Boyd. “We’ve responded to the policy challenges being put forward by the state government and the city of Melbourne.”

Although it was assessed under now out-dated planning rules, the Queens Place project has won approval as both city and state authorities pay closer attention to skyscraper design, inside and out.

Dog boxes in the sky

On Thursday, Melbourne’s lord mayor Robert Doyle delivered harsh words to the city’s high-rise developers, accusing some of creating “dog boxes in the sky”.

The final nod for Queens Place came from Planning Minister Richard Wynne, who praised the quality of its apartments, its setbacks from the street and other features including a childcare centre.

“The Queen Street project is a good example of how developers are responding to our push for a higher standard across Melbourne,” Mr Wynne said.

“Apartments are more than just an investment asset, we need to treat them as people’s homes, and,  while not everyone wants to live in a big apartment, affordable options can still be liveable.”

The prospect of a looming apartment oversupply was of less concern to Mr Wynne, who noted the inner city needs an estimated 45,000 new homes in the next 15 years to accommodate population growth.

But some developers have got cold feet already. Among them, BRW Rich Lister Paul Little is selling a city-fringe project with approval for 940 apartments. In the CBD, Singapore-based Fragrance is offloading a major Collins Street site, where it had hoped to develop a 91-storey tower.

Melbourne’s inner city market has been averaging 6000 apartment completions in the last three years. Over the next three years, the run rate is forecast to hit 8000 annually.

“It’s treading water at the moment. If it takes another step up, it will probably start sinking,” said BIS Shrapnel’s Angie Zigomanis.

Source: The Australian Financial Review

09 March 2016

Queens Place aims to create ‘Melbourne in Melbourne’

Queens Place Plaza

Queens Place, the city’s new landmark $1-billion-dollar project from developer 3L Alliance, is destined to be the most liveable address in the world’s most liveable city.

A twin-tower, master-planned vertical community, Queens Place will capture the true essence of the city with laneway shopping experiences, dining opportunities, neighbourhood services and plentiful open space; essentially creating a ‘Melbourne within Melbourne’.

From its elevated position on the verge of Flagstaff Hill, Melbourne’s highest point, the soaring, distinctive forms of its twin towers are set to become a prominent feature on the CBD skyline.

Inspired by Melbourne’s myriad alleys, and much-loved institutions like the historic Block and Royal Arcades, Queens Place is criss-crossed at ground level by a network of intimately scaled laneways.

“We have deliberately set out to create an exemplar project that delivers unrivalled design and community outcomes,” says 3L Alliance General Manager Gavin Boyd.

Designed in collaboration by Cox Architecture, Fender Katsalidis Architects and Hecker Guthrie – Melbourne firms of international repute – Queens Place is a residential opportunity above and beyond anything yet seen in this city.

“Find the best people, and bring them together. That’s the 3L Alliance philosophy, and how we intend to achieve the best outcome for Melbourne, and all those who will live, work or visit Queens Place,” says Boyd.

The architecture of Queens Place weaves the city’s past, present and future into a striking, tri-form composition that succeeds at every level and from every vantage point.

As they rise, the towers recline away from each other, creating a signature asymmetry both poetic in its elegance, and practical in its maximising of view opportunities, light and privacy for residents of upper levels.

Juxtaposing flowing curves and chamfered edges, these dynamic forms are expressed through contrasting yet complementary materials—the podium layers anchoring the site with their earthy tones and exposed stonework; the tower elements with their silver curtain wall glazing, seemingly floating above.

A final flourish transforms the topmost two levels of each tower into monumental fluted glass lanterns; crowning elements, whose bronze-coloured glow will be visible to all against the night sky of the city.

In addition to offering one, two and three-bedroom apartments in a range of floorplans, Queens Place offers a variety of living options, finish levels, amenity and view opportunities.

Be it for exercise, entertaining or entertainment, a quiet escape, or to partake in your favourite indulgence, the level of communal amenities is above and beyond that of any residential development in Melbourne’s history.

Within the podium alone, there is a pool and spa, private dining rooms and caterer’s kitchens, games rooms, private cinemas, a library, poker and mah jong room, a private garden terrace, karaoke suite, and even a cigar bar.

Setting the benchmark with their meticulous planning, fine craftsmanship and quality appliances, the apartments above in Tower One place emphasis on styling, space, comfort and luxury.

From the front door to the furthermost corner, each square centimetre of the Queens Place apartments will be crafted to create a home both familiar and welcoming, but like the architectural envelope from which it draws its inspiration, each will be deeply and unmistakably individual.

Reaching new heights on floors 69 to 78, the expansive and sublimely appointed ‘Queens Residences’ will reward owners with the ultimate in urban sophistication across a selection of penthouses and sub penthouses.

Residents can also take advantage of the many convenient services on offer, including a concierge, business centre, meeting room, and valet parking, to name a few.

With its refined, beautifully realised Tower One apartments, central business district address, and unique urban village setting, Queens Place offers a Melbourne lifestyle beyond compare.

The one, two and three-bedroom apartments range from 45 to 168 square metres, with prices starting at $449,000.

22 February 2016

Queens Place Tower One offers unique apartment living in Melbourne

A stunning display suite is now open for potential buyers interested in securing a presence at Queens Place, a one-of-a-kind development by 3L Alliance being marketed by Colliers International.

Tower One at Queens Place development, situated at Melbourne’s highest point at the verge of Flagstaff Hill, will be the first of two towers to be sold in this landmark project.

“A ‘Melbourne within Melbourne’, complete with laneway shopping experiences and dining opportunities, neighbourhood services and plentiful open space, Queens Place will be a precinct that captures the true essence of this city and puts it at the doorstep of those who reside within the always welcoming luxury of its twin towers,” Tim Storey, Colliers International Managing Director of Residential, said.

Designed by Cox Architecture, Fender Katsalidis Architects and Hecker Guthrie, Queens Place will be a unique residential opportunity combining two residential towers that will become a prominent feature of the city’s flourishing north-west precinct.

Queens Place will create a unique new Melbourne CBD precinct in its own right, combining two new residential towers alongside an existing commercial building. The residential towers will also incorporate several levels of retail and commercial space and three street frontages, creating a diverse and vibrant precinct for occupants.
“With its beautifully realised one, two and three bedroom apartments, unsurpassed resident amenities, convenient location, and unique urban village setting, Queens Place is destined to be one of the most liveable addresses in the world’s most liveable city,” Mr Storey said.

Colliers International is now taking registrations of interest for Tower One, launching 819 apartments.  In addition to offering one, two and three-bedroom apartments in a range of floorplans, Queens Place Tower One offers a choice of finish levels, amenity and view opportunities.

Its City Rise apartments on floors seven to 50 will set a new benchmark with their meticulous planning, fine craftsmanship and quality appliances. Residents will have their own ground floor lobby and enjoy access to extensive communal facilities on podium levels three, four and five.

The High Rise apartments on floors 53 to 68 will have an even greater emphasis on styling, space, comfort and luxury.

On floors 69 to 78, the expansive and sublimely appointed Queens Residences will reward owners with the ultimate in urban sophistication across a selection of penthouses and sub-penthouses.

Queens Residences and High Rise residents will also benefit from the convenience of a private entry lobby and, in addition to the facilities on levels three to five, receive exclusive access to the premium resident amenities of levels 51 and 52 including a pool, spa, sauna and steam room, private bar and lounge, wine cellar and private dining room and kitchen.

On levels three to five, all residents will have access to a lap pool, spa and deck; library; two private dining rooms with catering kitchens; a games room; a private garden/outdoor terrace; two home theatre/karaoke suites and a poker and mah jong room.

Additional facilities will include valet parking and waiting lounge, end of trip facilities including bicycle storage and washing booth, concierge, business centre/meeting room, child care centre, supermarket and enclosed laneways connecting all street frontages.

“A Queens Place address also puts residents at the centre of all of Melbourne’s key areas and attractions, from the education precinct and major sporting stadiums to major arts and entertainment venues,” Mr Storey said. “All are only minutes from the doorstep of Queens Place thanks to the city’s efficient public transport system.

“Closer still is the city’s retail precinct. A two-minute walk puts residents at the entry to 188,000sqm of indoor shopping malls and department stores, all of them connected, including Melbourne Central, Emporium, Myer and David Jones. This adds up to a total of just under 2,000 individual retailers.”

Queens Place will also be a two-minute walk from the farm fresh produce, bustling food halls, shops and traders of the historic Queen Victoria Market, the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere.

For more information and to register, visit or call 1300 793 738.

The display suite at 332 La Trobe Street is open between 11am and 4pm daily.

Source: Colliers International

05 September 2015

Rockbank set for major transformation

Artist's impression of Rockbank town centre

Rockbank is set to be the newest high-growth suburb in Melbourne’s west and eventually home to more than 25,000 people.

Last month, Planning Minister Richard Wynne announced state government plans to transform the rural town, about 35 kilometres from the CBD, into a suburb of about 8000 houses.

Melton council chief executive Kel Tori welcomed the announcement, which he said council had been negotiating with the Melbourne Planning Authority for some time.

“I am very confident that all current Rockbank residents have been anticipating this for some time and I believe are looking forward to what benefits the growth will bring,” he said.

The state government plan, which identifies where schools, road upgrades, parks and community facilities will be built, is open for public comment until Monday, October 3.

Rockbank resident and Cambridge ward councillor Nola Dunn said the west had “awoken and was the place to be”.

“The development happening in the Rockbank area is exciting and will bring to the area more job prospects for our local community,” she said.

The MPA and Melton council will host a drop-in information session on Thursday, September 10, from 4.30-8pm at Western BACE, 222 Ferris Road, Melton South.

Source: Star Weekly

06 May 2015

City apartment boom drives twin skyscrapers plan for Queen Street site

It’s the Melbourne equivalent to New York’s twin towers.

The city’s reputation as the skyscraper capital of Australia is set to be boosted after a Chinese developer lodged plans to build a twin skyscraper complex on Queen and La Trobe Streets.

Just six months after buying the massive corner site for $135 million, a company called 3L Alliance has submitted plans for two soaring 79-level towers at 350 Queen that will stretch far higher than the nearby 55-level Melbourne Central building on Elizabeth Street.

The completed towers at 267.8 metres will be just 29 metres shorter than the city’s current tallest building, the 92-level (297-metre) Eureka tower completed in 2006.

The city’s latest high-rise proposal follows hard on the heels of a series of other super-tall structures in planning or under construction, fuelled by an offshore-driven apartment boom.

Another landmark tower in Southbank is set to rise 81 levels, or 259 metres, on the corner of City Road and Clarendon Street.

It will be taller than Southbank’s newly-completed 72-level Prima Pearl building, but shorter than the country’s tallest building, Australia 108, which is expected to rise 100 levels, or 319 metres, on the same side of the Yarra River.

The fresh proposal is likely to test newly-elected planning minister Richard Wynne who recently rejected another high-rise apartment planed by Grocon for 85 Spring Street.

3L Alliance’s structure at 350 Queen will cost $750 million to build and will include a public plaza, a crèche and nearly 2000 square metres of retail space.

The towers will stand behind KTS House, a 21-storey office that will remain on the site.

The structure will dwarf its immediate neighbour, the tiny Welsh Church building.

3L Alliance is controlled by Chinese nationals Baoyu Li and Lin Xiong.

The pair purchased the site, known as KTS House, in October last year from a private Malaysian investment group Kinetics ­Properties, a subsidiary of Sarawak-based lumber company KTS Holdings.

A supermarket on the corner of Queen and A’Beckett, a two-storey car park facing A’Beckett Street and several single storey retail shops on La Trobe Street will be demolished to make way for the new tower complex if it gains planning approval.

KTS House has a chequered development history. It was constructed in a joint venture between local developer Warren Anderson and Japanese groups Shimizu Construction and Itochu in 1990 during a particularly speculative, over-supplied period in Australia’s commercial property market.

The project became mired in an acrimonious dispute between the parties before the Japanese retreated, selling the project without completing key parts.

The towers will have about 1700 apartments with resident facilities that include four large swimming pools, saunas, spas and gyms, a home theatre, communal kitchens, karaoke rooms and a dedicated yoga studio.

The “sculpted” buildings have been designed by Cox Architecture and Fender Katsalidis Architects.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald