Multiplex dodges construction challenges to wrap up $2b West Side Place ahead of schedule

Multiplex dodges construction challenges to wrap up $2b West Side Place ahead of schedule

The completed West Side Place development

Multiplex has wrapped up construction of the final stage of Far East Consortium’s $2 billion West Side Place, dodging a turbulent construction environment after the building powerhouse stepped in to rescue the first stage following the collapse of Probuild last year.

Construction giant Multiplex announced it has reached practical completion of the third and fourth tower of the development, one of the largest mixed-use projects in Melbourne’s CBD in a decade.

Multiplex won the original contract for the second stage, but took on about $20 million in final construction work on stage one after Probuild went into administration.

The completion of the project after four years of construction work has also brought two new international hotel brands to Melbourne’s city centre less than a month apart.

West Side Place is now home to the city’s first Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which opened in the first stage in March more than a year later than expected, due in part to the Probuild collapse.

The 257-room Ritz-Carlton’s opening was followed just weeks later by the 317-room Dorsett chain welcoming its first Melbourne guests on 18 April as Multiplex was putting the finishing touches on the second stage towers.

Multiplex, which last year also stepped in to complete The Ribbon development in Sydney’s Darling Harbour which will house the world’s largest W hotel when it opens in October, says the second stage of West Side Place has been completed ahead of schedule despite the construction being impacted by COVID lockdowns and supply chain disruptions.

“West Side Place is arguably one of the most significant and complex developments undertaken in Melbourne’s CBD in many years, and we are proud to have delivered it,” Multiplex regional managing director Ross Snowball says.

“It has already breathed new life into this part of the city, and will no doubt be a catalyst for further development within the western CBD.”

West Side Place occupies an entire city block bounded by Lonsdale, Little Lonsdale and Spencer streets, once dominated by The Age newspaper building.

The development has delivered 2,895 apartments across the four towers from 64 to 82 storeys high, as well as a major new retail and dining precinct for the city.

Residents have access to two podium levels that include lap pools, plunge pools, spas, sauna, steam rooms, a golf simulator, indoor and outdoor cinemas, wine rooms, karaoke room, lounge spaces and dining rooms.

Multiplex says the successful project delivery was achieved despite significant construction challenges including building 33 different façade types for the podium façade.

Completion of the project now positions Far East Consortium to focus on its biggest development in Australia so far, the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf development which it is undertaking in partnership with fellow Hong Kong developer Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and casino group The Star Entertainment Group (ASX: SGR).

Queen’s Wharf, which is set to open in late 2023, will also house Brisbane’s first Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the Dorsett Brisbane to complement the Dorsett Gold Coast, in addition to The Star Grand Hotel and Rosewood Brisbane. The four new hotels planned for Queen’s Wharf will deliver more than 1,000 hotel rooms combined to Brisbane’s inner city.

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