Melbourne city skyline

Recent ​forecasts show that the City of Melbourne is set to assess more than $1 billion of new developments in 2022 – in addition to the more than $1.5 billion of state-assessed development projects which have been proposed for the municipality so far this year – for a total of $2.5 billion in new development applications.

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

City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor, Nicholas Reece, said the results indicate there is little doubt that Melbourne remains the number one destination for new developments. 

“It’s a testament to the resilience of Melbourne that the city has attracted more than $2.5 billion in new developments in a single year. 

“After so much COVID disruption, it’s heartening to see developers continuing to invest heavily in the future of our city.   

“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.” 

Major state-assessed developments for 2022 include a $750 million development over the Goods Shed in Docklands and a $264 million development at RMIT Village in North Melbourne.  

More than 600 planning applications worth an estimated $800 million have come before the City of Melbourne so far in 2022, with 85 per cent of applications for brand new developments and the remaining 15 per cent covering amendments to existing permits.   

Melbourne’s CBD remains the top property market with 200 new development applications, the majority of which cover new businesses and shop fit-outs.   

Carlton sits second with more than 70 developments, primarily for residential properties or additions to heritage homes. Development applications have also increased in Kensington within the new Arden and Macaulay precincts.    

New development interest has continued to grow in West Melbourne since the gazettal of the City of Melbourne’s West Melbourne Structure Plan, including the $230 million development of the West Melbourne Waterfront Precinct.    

For the first time, the latest data has also revealed the City of Melbourne suburbs which have made the most appeals against new developments.   

Planning decisions in East Melbourne have attracted the most interest within the municipality, with more than double the number of appeals to VCAT compared to any other city neighbourhood.   

The CBD has the second most appeals, while West Melbourne and Docklands have the fewest.

Cr Reece said Melbourne’s buzz is back, with 2023 shaping up as a year of exciting possibilities for the City.  

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

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