South Melbourne's super block joins the commercial race

South Melbourne's super block joins the commercial race
South Melbourne's super block joins the commercial race

Another major commercial development is planned for a South Melbourne super site.

Marketed last year as Ensemble, the 4,693 square metre development opportunity holds four street frontages and spanned ten separate titles. Directly opposite South Melbourne Market, 80-84 Cecil Street is formally at planning with the intent of seeing a $60 million build approved for the site.

Active Melbourne property entity Aviation Consolidated Holdings is backing the office proposal; the South Melbourne application joins a substantial Footscray apartment project under their charge.

14,845 square metres of net leasable area is planned within the Hassell-designed office complex, as part of a wider 34,935 square metre built form outcome. The remaining space within the development is dedicated to three basement levels, near on 800 square metres of retail space, end of trip facilities, building services and various communal/terrace spaces.

South Melbourne's super block joins the commercial race
Aerial perspective of Hassell's latest commercial design

80 Cecil Street provides an engaging commercial building for the ensemble site.

Located in an amenity rich site, this proposal seeks to provide a “human” office building in contrast to the corporate HQ’s of the CBD and Docklands. It acknowledges South Melbourne’s potential as a satellite commercial destination for creative industries and start-ups.

The proposal will become an important employment generator for South Melbourne, further enhancing the precinct’s mixed-use 24/7 community. The project delivers a flexible office environment suitable for one major tenant or multiple smaller tenancies. 


The intended built form is punctuated by a number of floorplate voids allowing for natural light penetration. The largest such void is in the centre of the building and reaches ground level, where a 'secret garden' has been included and splays out to a pedestrian link connecting to three separate street frontages.

Additionally Hassell and ARUP have rolled best practice Green Star and NABERS standards into the design. 

South Melbourne's super block joins the commercial race
The site's tremendous size utilised to full effect

The Cecil Street project is not alone in bringing a new large format commercial office dynamic to South Melbourne.

Also in the market are two additional projects carrying large footprints which are poised to add a combined 26,000 square metres to the South Melbourne marketplace. Hickory's Market Lane at 68 Clarke Street is at construction; dubbed the Non-office Office, the Elenberg Fraser-designed 'office of the future' will also double as the builder's new headquarters.

Encompassing 8,500 square metres of office space, the development features light filled floorplates, a 5 star NABERS rating, under floor servicing, green outdoor terraces and greenhouses on each level, plus edible gardens.

Also in the South Melbourne hunt is Deague Group. In their keep is a roughly 4,000 square metre site at 81-109 Moray Street which holds approval for a 17,500 sq m office complex. Initially conceived by Rothelowman, the reworked design now sees external hanging greenery and 17,500 square metres of space.

Deague Group are expecting to begin works on the Moray Street site shortly.

South Melbourne's super block joins the commercial race
Hickory's Market Lane is under construction

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?