Melbourne development proposals hit $2.5 billion, marking return to pre-COVID levels

Melbourne development proposals hit $2.5 billion, marking return to pre-COVID levels

Render of the West Melbourne Waterfront precinct 

The City of Melbourne is on track to receive more than $2.5 billion in development applications this year, returning the to pre-pandemic levels as developers invest heavily in projects across the CBD and inner city.

While the City of Melbourne is set to assess more than $1 billion of new developments in 2022, an additional $1.5 billion of projects evaluated by the state government have been proposed for the municipality so far.

More than 600 planning applications worth roughly $800 million have come before the City of Melbourne, with 85 per cent of applications for brand new developments. The remainder cover amendments to existing permits.   

The last time the city assessed more than $1 billion in new development applications was prior to the pandemic in 2019.   

“After so much COVID disruption, it’s heartening to see developers continuing to invest heavily in the future of our city,” Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece said.

“With residential occupancy levels now back to pre-COVID levels and a record number of new hospitality venues opening in the city it is no wonder that development applications have taken off.” 

“The buzz is back and 2023 is shaping up as a year of exciting possibilities for Melbourne.”   

According to the City of Melbourne, the CBD remains the hottest property market with 200 new development applications lodged, mostly covering new businesses and shop fitouts. The inner-city suburb of Carlton came in second, recording 70-plus developments primarily for residential properties or additions to heritage homes.

Development applications have also increased within the Arden and Macaulay precincts, which incorporate parts of the north-western suburb of Kensington and North Melbourne.    

“It’s particularly exciting to see developments popping up in the city’s newest suburbs of Arden and Macaulay,” Reece said.

“The vision to transform West Melbourne into the next Fitzroy or Collingwood is also gathering momentum with some distinctive planning applications approved.”   

“As development interest continues to grow it’s never been more important for the City of Melbourne to prioritise high-quality design, architecture and amenities to ensure the best outcomes for everyone who lives, works, studies or visits our city.”

Development interest continues to grow in West Melbourne, where a $230 million project – known as the West Melbourne Waterfront - will create new homes, an art gallery, hotel cinema and community gardens on the banks of the Maribyrnong River.

The precinct, which will sit on a 2.8-hectare site, is planned to feature 600 new dwellings and a 150-room upscale hotel. Developers behind the project include Perri Projects, Foster + Partners, Oculus and Fender Katsalidis.

Other state-assessed developments include a $750 million development over the Goods Shed in Docklands and a $264 million development at RMIT Village in North Melbourne.  

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