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.

13 May 2016

Buyers hot for Melbourne land as time on market reaches new low

George Bougias

The average time on the market for land in Melbourne’s growth corridors has reached a new recent low, according to research by property group Oliver Hume.

The research, compiled from analysing more than 4,000 transactions at more than 135 active projects, shows the average time on market for land in Melbourne in the first quarter of 2016 was 2.5 months.

With the exception of the first quarter of 2015, the average time on market as fallen every quarter since the third quarter of 2013 or remained steady, after peaking in the current cycle at 6.6 at the end of 2012.

The research reflects Oliver Hume’s experience on the ground. The company has sold 118 blocks of land at the Bridgefield Estate in Melbourne’s west in the six weeks since the development’s official launch in March.

The first land release of the 3L Alliance and Goldfields-developed $320 million estate at Rockbank has received unparalleled attention from the local market after more than 20 groups of buyers slept overnight in cars to secure one of the first 57 lots last month.

Oliver Hume Director Paul Ciprian said low interest rates were a key driver for sales.

“The RBA’s rate cuts are certainly an added incentive for buyers on top of Bridgefield’s existing affordability and high quality land and lifestyle offering,” he said.

“A good value, high quality opportunity like Bridgefield will always attract buyers. All signs point strongly to this community (Bridgefield) being very tightly held now and in the coming years,” he said.

Oliver Hume Research Manager George Bougias said the low time on market was a reflection of the strong demand for land across all growth corridors in Melbourne.

“This record low can be attributed to several factors, but primarily it is a function of the declining cost of borrowing and increasing levels of consumer and investor confidence as a result of the strong Victorian economy,” he said.

“Affordability is a key factor which is underpinning demand as well,” he said. “Melbourne is still regarded as one of the most affordable cities in Australia and attracting buyers from all over the country.”

“We expect the time on market statistic to stay relatively low for the rest of the year before heading back to more traditional levels in the medium term,” he said.

While the Melbourne land sales market is the strongest he’s seen in some time, Mr Bougias said buyers need to be conscious that conditions could change over the next 12 months.

“APRA’s move to tighten investment lending affected the market as did banks amending loan serviceability criteria – these changes are now working their way through the system. It’s crucial for investors to continue to remain aware of broader market conditions,” he said.

Source: The Urban Developer

01 April 2016

Buyers camp out to secure land at Bridgefield

Aerial view of Bridgefield

More than 20 groups of buyers camped out to secure land in the first stage of Bridgefield, a new $320 million community at 1230 Leakes Rd, Rockbank in Melbourne’s west.

Stage One of the 1000-lot estate, being developed by 3L Alliance and Goldfields, was released on March 19 and recorded 49 sales in the first week.

The developer said it expects to sell the remaining eight lots quickly, prompting an earlier-than-forecast release of the second stage.

Goldfields Marketing Director, Mr Rohan Ames, said buyers were attracted to Bridgefield’s easy access to the nearby Rockbank train station, a planned shopping centre, a residents’ club and the estate’s commitment to landscaping and recreation areas.

“Bridgefield is one of few new residential communities serviced by an established train station that’s within walking distance,” Mr Ames said.

Internationally renowned garden guru Wes Fleming has overseen the design of 16 hectares of botanic gardens and green spaces throughout the community, while buyers will have the choice of one of six free landscape treatments for their front garden, also overseen by Wes Fleming.

“On top of that, the Bridgefield residents’ club – including swimming pool, tennis courts, gym, residents’ lounge and function room – is an entirely new offer for the area.”

Civil construction works are planned to begin in mid-2016, with the first residents expected to move in by mid-2017. Lot sizes in Stage One range from 221 square metres to 799 sqm. Prices start at $134,000.

Source: The Urban Developer

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