Written by Marc Pallisco
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 00:00
GIVEN the increasing number of apartment dwellers calling Melbourne’s inner north home, a “direct” trip between the Tullamarine and Eastern freeways - via the zoo and cemetery - can now consume motorist’s an hour, or more, largely because of amplified traffic congestion.
But it would appear in government planning meetings, bottlenecks like that around Elliott Avenue, Macarthur Road and the University of Melbourne have received less consideration than other crisis-ridden road systems – like the ones in suburbs between Seaford and Mt Martha where the $759 million (and many say unnecessary) Peninsula Link was recently given the green light.
Instead, the state government has appointed builder Australand to develop a major apartment compound at one of the inner-city’s last remaining vacant development sites, opposite the Melbourne General Cemetery, the University of Melbourne – and the busy roundabout that connects these two sites to Swanston Street.
With joint venture partners St Hilliers and Citta Properties – which was involved in the hugely controversial St Kilda Triangle redevelopment – Australand will build its new project, Lume, around the historic Queen Elizabeth Centre buildings – at the suburb border of Carlton, Carlton North and Parkville.
Lume will include three towers ranging in height from four to six levels around the block bound by Cemetery Road East, Cardigan, Keppell and Swanston streets.
Upon completion Lume will include 148 flats, more than a third of which will be allocated as public housing.
Lume will also include 111 car parks.
The new development comes 18 months after Housing Minister Richard Wynn granted the same consortium permission to replace low-rise commission flats in Carlton, with Viva – a $260 million public housing-based project that, like Lume, private investors could buy into.
Australand is also building a $160 million, 18-hectare public housing based village for the government in Westmeadows, near Melbourne Airport.
Another ambitious commission-flat based project spreads over two suburbs in the south-east: Ashwood and Chadstone, and includes 280 dwellings in six towers.
About 75 per cent of units in that $140 million Ashwood Chadstone Gateway project will be allocated as public housing.