Deal profile | Gadens acts for Scape in win over proposed $250m tower development
27 April 2018
Gadens has acted for the student housing operator, Scape Student Living, on their application for approval for development of a student accommodation tower in Carlton, Melbourne. The development recently received approval from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after an appeal against Planning Minister Richard Wynne’s failure to approve the proposal in the statutory time frames.
The 22-storey Denton Corker Marshall building will be built on the former Carlton and United Breweries site in Swanston Street between the heritage Malthouse building and the Queensberry Hotel. The development of the CUB site has been in limbo for many years due to a perception by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning that the planning scheme controls applicable to the site required amendment before such a proposal could be approved.
Gadens was first engaged in 2016 to advise on the planning controls and whether the proposal could be considered to be generally in accordance with the relevant Development Plan applicable under the planning scheme.
Deal value: Approximately $250 million, adding to Scape’s planned $1 billion Melbourne portfolio
Deal area: Planning & Environment
Practice groups involved: Planning & Environment
Key players: Gadens partner Meg Lee led the team. Other lawyers involved in the matter include senior associate Kate Kirby (Planning & Environment) and Zina Teoh.
This development will add to Scape’s planned $1 billion Melbourne portfolio and represents a new approach to student living as well as the opportunity to contribute to Melbourne’s spectacular skyline with a building designed by eminent architect John Denton. The $250 million building will boast ground floor retail and will be operated as student accommodation and city living with Scape having the ongoing role to manage the building and provide student services and wellbeing.
The Minister opposed the development at the Tribunal, arguing that the tower was too tall, did not provide an appropriate transition to the lower scale of Carlton and would impact the amenity of the abutting Swanston Street corridor.
The Tribunal squarely accepted the Scape expert evidence and arguments on these points finding that the proposal will not visually overwhelm the Swanston Street environment and nor will it be out of character with the preferred and emerging form of the street. The Tribunal found that from a distance the building will sit comfortably within its context.
Scape Development Director, Gary Eckersall says:
“I would like to extend my gratitude to Gadens for the way they approached this case and the result they have delivered to us. This is a significant day for Scape and would not have been achieved without their tremendous work and skill in achieving this result.”
Gadens partner, Meg Lee says:
“Importantly for Scape the decision also represents a resounding endorsement of their new approach to student living in Australia, with the Tribunal visiting the first operating site at 393 Swanston Street and concluding that the design of the interior is well thought out and will be well integrated with an appropriate level of services for the students. We are delighted to have assisted the passionate and committed team at Scape achieve this outcome”.
For more information, contact:
Partner, Property, Construction & Planning
T: +61 3 9252 2539
M: +61 404 070 549
Head of Business Development & Marketing
T: +61 3 9612 8285
M: +61 415 500 753