21 May 2013
Ubertas Back with Plan B for Melbourne Tower
Albert Dadon’s Ubertas group will lodge plans for a second apartment tower in Melbourne’s CBD, while work on his neighbouring William Street project nears completion.
The two residential buildings replace original plans for a $300 million, 50-storey project with 626 apartments and a hotel component, which were shelved after the financial crisis.
The plans were revised by architectures Fender Katsalidis and the project will now include two separate towers. The first is almost complete and another, with almost 200 apartments on 20 levels, will be built at 360 William Street. Ubertas is expected to lodge plans with the City of Melbourne in coming weeks.
The near-finished 350 William Street has four storeys of studio apartments, serviced apartments across 11 levels and 16 upper levels to be known as “Art on the Park”. Oaks is expected to be the serviced apartment partner.
Principal Karl Fender said the project was designed to incorporate the green from the gardens and would reinvigorate the northern part of the CBD.
According to property records, Ubertas – under previous name Hollowbrook – bought the site, once occupied by Holding Redlich lawyers, opposite Flagstaff Gardens in December 2005 for $12.8 million.
Settlement will soon begin for the 350 William Street project and Mr Dadon said he was confident of a straightforward settlement process.
“We’ve been in touch with our buyers this whole time, we’re very confident – there is no credit squeeze and we are not concerned,” he said.
There are more than 20,000 apartments in the pipeline for Melbourne’s CBD and the bulk will be built by Asia-based and Asia-bankrolled developers.
Mr Dadon dismissed suggestions of an oversupply of city apartments, as Melboune’s population is growing steadily, but said offshore developer funding was not subject to the same checks and balances that Australian banks demanded.
“The process is totally opaque and all happens overseas . . . what are we risking for our cities?” he said.
Ubertas’ William Street projects are among a number of CBD commercial sites resurrected as residential developments.
Other projects include Hengyi Australia’s The William, a 547-apartment project under way inside the old Telecom offices which were left deserted for almost 20 years.
Singapore-based CEL will build a 71-storey apartment block on Queen Street in place of a 14-storey office building.
Ubertas Group has about $750 million worth of residential projects in development in Melbourne.