ARA unveils $800m vision for Southgate site

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ARA Asset Management’s Australian arm has lodged a development application for an $800 million transformation of the two hectare Southgate site on the southern edge of Melbourne’s CBD.

Plans for the site, across the Yarra River from Flinders Street train station and adjacent to the famous Arts Precinct, knock down and rebuild the shopping and dining complex, deliver a new 21 storey office tower and introduce 2,000 sqm of green space.

More than 340 full-time jobs will be created throughout construction and once complete, the new Southgate will have the capacity for around 3,600 office and retail jobs.

ARA Australia has lodged a development application with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning that includes more than 4,000 square metres of additional open space. Some 39,000 sqm of office space will be added via the new tower, designed to complement the existing IBM and Herald and Weekly Times towers on the site, and gross lettable retail area will remain on par with the existing floorplan at around 11,500 sqm.

Retail space will include casual and formal dining options, a medical centre, food hall and supermarket, pharmacy, newsagent and barber, and the wider precinct will also have a business and events centre and exhibition space.

North-facing public space will be directly accessible from the river promenade, St Kilda Rd and the Arts Precinct.

Fender Katsalidis designed the plans.

ARA Australia chief executive officer David Blight said Southgate – once a fashionable place to meet, shop and dine – deserved to be repositioned.

“It’s our responsibility as asset owners and property managers to ensure Southgate fulfils its potential for our tenants, onsite workforce and local and international visitors alike.”

The current three level Southgate complex was opened in 1992.

“The redevelopment will mark the welcome return of a Melbourne icon and arrival of a striking new architectural statement in the form of a boldly-designed office tower and re-imagined dining, entertainment and services precinct.”

Also along Southbank, Melbourne’s tallest building, Australia 108, is nearing completion, Beulah International has just received planning approval for its mammoth $2 billion Green Spine tower that will eventually take the title of Melbourne’s and Australia’s tallest, and OSK is currently developing its $2.8 billion, six tower Melbourne Square project, recently revealing plans for a 38,000 sqm office building.

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