Media releases

Strong development pipeline builds on Melbourne’s momentum

11 April 2023

The City of Melbourne is building on its magnetic momentum – with new data revealing more than 430 building permits have been issued within the municipality so far in 2023.

This equates to more than $950 million worth of projects, with almost $420 million in March alone – a vote of confidence that developers and builders continue to invest strongly in Melbourne’s bustling CBD.

While building permits have boomed, Council also recorded two consecutive months where planning application numbers were the highest they’ve been since June 2021.

A total of 94 planning applications were received by Council officers in March, worth more than $118 million. Forecasts indicate the City of Melbourne will assess close to $1 billion of new developments in 2023.

The 2023 figures build on a strong year for development in Melbourne. In 2022, Council received nearly $900 million in planning applications and $4.5 billion in building permits for the municipality, the majority of which were for new developments.

In addition, Council received over $1.6 billion in Ministerial permit referrals – for especially large projects that require State permits – meaning a total of $2.5 billion worth of applications received for projects in the municipality in 2022.

The new Council data shows the CBD remains the hottest property market, with most applications made to establish new small businesses – supporting more local jobs.

Carlton, North Melbourne and West Melbourne also recorded steady increases in application numbers, with a strong number of applications for new residential properties or additions to heritage homes.

Some key applications recently received by Council include a $15.8 million development to expand Southbank’s luxury Langham Hotel and an $80 million office redevelopment at 376-388 Flinders Street.

Works are also planned to commence on a new 35-storey hotel at 388 William Street, a 400-dwelling mid-rise development in Kensington and the refurbishment of Melbourne’s renowned Tivoli Arcade.

Quotes attributable to Acting Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece

“The building and development industry is getting bigger and better than ever in Melbourne.”

“We’ve seen some ambitious new planning applications lodged in recent months. The Langham Hotel redevelopment is a great example – developers and big businesses are still spending big dollars to invest in our economic recovery.”

“The majority of applications lodged in February were for new small businesses – proving that cafes, retail and hospitality are all getting back on their feet in our CBD.”

“We’re also seeing a strong number of building permits, which is our best indication that those planning applications are turning into real work and jobs on the ground.”

“It’s fantastic to see developments like the $82.5 million Assemble project in Kensington getting underway, which will provide more much-needed affordable housing for Melbourne residents. We’re looking forward to seeing more major residential developments in our growth areas to help tackle housing supply and affordability.”

“We know that Melbourne’s population is set to surge, with a record level of immigration and an increase in the birth rate. Our urban renewal growth areas, like Fishermans Bend and Arden, are well-placed to absorb this growth while protecting Melbourne’s world-famous liveability.”

“With more than $1 billion worth of planning applications set to be assessed this year, it’s never been more important to champion design excellence and sustainability. We’re working hard to help make sure that developments look great, are environmentally sustainable, and stand the test of time.”

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