Former Nine studio set for nine levels

Part of the former piano making factory turned television studio at the corner of Bendigo and Jago streets.

Lendlease has kicked off construction of a nine level over-55s village at Melbourne’s inner east Richmond.

The tower will be the tallest yet at the redevelopment of 22 Bendigo Street – the historic Wertheim Piano factory turned GTV Nine studio.

The Sydney developer paid the media group c$52 million for the three hectare parcel in 2009 but has only replaced a small part.

Ardency Kennedy Place is designed with an indoor pool, piano bar, dining room and library.

The biggest complexes are Hayball apartment buildings of six storeys at its north.

Lendlease has also constructed townhouses on Stawell and Wertheim streets.

Historic buildings facing Bendigo St have been repurposed as townhouses and retail tenancies too.

Coincidentally, the dwelling which retained the often-screened ‘22 Bendigo St’ address sold in 2016 for $2m.

Last February Mirvac paid $249m for Nine’s Willoughby, Sydney, studio.

Lendlease ups height

Three years ago, Lendlease requested a planning amendment to allow nine levels on parts of the Richmond site it hasn’t replaced – effectively, the north and south of Khartoum St.

Land fronting Stawell St was also affected.

The developer later announced a rescheme – in particular, abandoning traditional apartments for affordable housing and aged care.

It also unveiled the retirement village it started building today, Ardency Kennedy Place.

Ardency Kennedy Place

The nine level over-55s Richmond complex will be the fourth to use Lendlease’s Ardency brand; the other homes are in New South Wales.

It will be configured with 116 suites – from one to three bedrooms – and a rooftop vegetable garden (story continues below).

Lendlease is marketing Ardency Kennedy Place apartments from $1.07m.

Like other luxury aged care communities, 7-9 Kennedy Avenue, as this one will be addressed, contains resident-only activity areas, a cinema, library, function rooms, gym and indoor pool.

A healthcare tenancy can access everything from ambulances to beauty services – but there’ll also be a daytime concierge.

Daily private transport coming

Lendlease called in Bates Smart for this part of the site 22 Bendigo St redevelopment; the architect’s design resembles an extended warehouse conversion.

Other buildings of this height are earmarked.

Upon completion in late 2022, residents will have access to private transport – a minibus – which will operate daily.

Burnley train station is about 700 metres away.

“Ardency Kennedy Place’s leafy tree-lined urban location is a key attraction for over 55s looking for a change to the city fringe and sets the groundwork for a precinct with a strong sense of place, lively character and identity founded in the site’s rich history,” the developer said.

Recent aged care activity

Lendlease’s Retirement Village Living holds 75 aged care investments.

Last week the parent sold a 25pc stake in this arm to Aware Super for $460m (the manager sold another quarter to APG Asset Management in 2017).

Also this month Australian Unity announced it would team with Ord Minnett to deliver a vertical retirement village in South Melbourne.

That project is one of two towers replacing the former’s long-time headquarters opposite Albert Park Lake.

The other building, which is under construction, is an aged care complex.

AU is now based in Spring St.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of