Brisbane Skytower and Mary Lane

The Skytower is the tallest building in Brisbane at 270.5m high. It has a complex building titling structure with smart use of Volumetric Subdivisions and the Building Management Statement, allowing the developer Billbergia to stage vertically which was critical in allowing settlements to occur while the building was being constructed and was important for the development cashflow for such a tall building.

Bennett + Bennett were pleased to have been part of the successful completion of this unique inner city highrise development. The site was formerly known as the Vision Tower prior to its purchase in 2011 by the New South Wales development company Billbergia. The development went through numerous design changes over the years. Initially the development proposed two towers including a hotel and residential apartments above an eight-level basement and retail zone at Ground Level.

Early in the project’s inception the developer decided to separate the two towers so part of the site could be sold to another developer. This was the Mary Lane development site. Bennett + Bennett worked with the developer’s lawyers and body corporate to devise a simple two Lot volumetric subdivision and Building Management Statement 1 to allow the separation of the two towers. The separation is currently in place and allowed Skytower and Mary Lane to be developed and function fairly independently to each other.

Bennett + Bennett then worked with the separate developers’ lawyers and body corporate consultants to devise suitable schemes for each tower. The final titling structure diagrams attached show how the site was developed.

Vertical Staging of Skytower

As mentioned, a key component of Skytower was the vertical staging of the residential apartments, so settlements could occur as each vertical stage was developed. This significantly improved the developments cashflow. This was also required to allow greater flexibility should the apartment mix need to be changed as a result of changes in the market. The scheme devised for the Skytower included five separate residential community titles schemes to be developed vertically as the building progressed.

Staged volumetric subdivisions with an accompanying Building Management Statement was used to create the relevant Lots to contain each separate Community Titles Scheme. Volumetric Lots were also created for the Managers Lot and a Childcare Centre Lot. A remainder Lot was created to contain the retail shops and the carpark. The Building Management Statement 2 provides all the required rights and obligations for the separate Lots to function appropriately within the one building, while allowing appropriate sharing of services and facilities.

Carparking Scheme established – Lot owner’s choice

Another key component for the project given its central business district location, was to ensure maximum use of carparks. All too often residential basement carparks are underutilised, as unit owners may not all be living onsite or due to its location they may not need a car park. A scheme was devised that retained ownership of the whole carpark by a single Lot owner so they could manage any spare carparks and have them available for use by the general public within the Central Business District. The Building Management Statement was used to allocate specific carparks and stores to the unit owners within each body corporate, where an owner chose to purchase a car park. Any left-over parking is available for the carpark owner to rent either short or long term to the public.

Each residential stage was established by a separate Building Format Plan with accompanying allocation of exclusive use of carparks and storage from the carpark Lot.

Mary Lane key components

The key components of Mary Lane were much simpler. The developer was seeking separation of the main uses on the site, which included a Dock Master Lot, Retail Lot, Hotel Lot and Residential Lot.

Volumetric subdivision with an accompanying Building Management Statement was used to create the separate Lots. The Building Management Statement 3 provides all the rights and obligations for the separate Lots to function appropriately within the same building.

The residential scheme was established by a Building Format Plan with accompanying allocation of exclusive use carparks and stores which were with the scheme land.

If you would like to discuss this structure in more detail or see how your project might be structured, please do not hesitate to call and speak to us.

Written by Greg Short (Director)