Footscray is designated as a Transit City in the state government’s controversial Melbourne @ 5 Million planning document, which encourages higher density development around existing transport nodes.
Auspac is planning a major residential-based village, with sources already speculating buildings of some 20 levels, or more, incorporating ground floor retail. The end value of this project could soar to more than $100 million.
About a year ago, 15 hectares of riverfront Footscray land known as the Joseph Road precinct was rezoned to allow residential development.
Train commuters get the best view of the parcel affected, between the Footscray and South Kensington stations, between the Newells Paddocks Wetlands Park, south of the tracks, and across to the Maribyrnong River.
Last July in the area, the prominent former Flinkers used car dealership, with frontage to Hopkins, Whitehall and Warde streets, sold for $5.25 million.
The biggest recent sale in Footscray occurred at about the same time, when Vietnam-based businessmen paid a reported $16 million for the outgoing Dimmeys shopping centre, and associated car parks, in the suburb’s central activity district.
However a handful of other major Footscray development sites listed for sale during the economic downturn, failed to sell. The popular and busy inner-city suburb is yet to find an effective way to deal with mounting traffic congestion.