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Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 4:15 PM
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scalziand scalziand is offline
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Work has begun on a giant skyscraper that will tower over the Melbourne skyline

A giant new landmark is climbing into Melbourne's skyline, as construction begins on the Australia 108 skyscraper.

This month, work started on the foundations of what will be the southern hemisphere's tallest apartment building.

Some residents could move into the tower as soon as 2018 while construction is still in full swing, as the project by Singaporean developer Aspial will be completed in five stages.

Apartment owners below level 41 are likely to get their keys from September 2018, when the building is less than half finished.

Another 15 levels or so will be opened every six months until the building is completed in late 2020.

The building and the lift system have been designed to allow for the staged handovers, with separate lobby areas for different areas of the tower.

Mr Cottam said Australia 108, like all skyscrapers, would be constructed with the flexibility to sway – in this case up to 60 centimetres.

The golden starburst feature at 210 metres, inspired by the Australian flag, will be prefabricated off site in components.

The managing director of CBRE Residential, Andrew Leoncelli, said only 33 apartments of the original 1105 still remained on the market, with almost $1 billion worth of stock sold.

Mr Leoncelli said prospective buyers would need at least $2.5 million for one of the remaining properties, all luxury three-bedroom apartments, in the exclusive "Cloud Residences" above the 71st floor.

The cheaper apartments on the lower storeys, which sold for as little as $450,000, were snapped up within a few months of the official launch in February.

Australia 108, designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, was originally planned to rise 108 floors and 388 metres but had to be cut back after it was revealed the building violated federal air-safety regulations for Essendon airport.

Unlike the Eureka, Melbourne's newest skyscraper giant will not have its own public viewing area.

During the next nine months, building work will focus on the tower foundation.

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