Melbourne Uni starts filling $200m Parkville student precinct

The New Student Precinct spreads 3.7 hectares bound by Swanston and Grattan streets and Monash Road.

The University of Melbourne has secured a swag of leases for the first stage of the $200 million New Student Precinct, taking shape on 3.7 hectares at the north west corner of Swanston and Grattan streets, in Parkville.

The project includes the Arts & Cultural Building, an amphitheatre, supermarket and spaces for healthcare services.

Salvatore Malatesta’s St Ali has committed to 153 square metres in two spaces, one which will trade as Cosmos by St Ali.

Malaysian restaurant PappaRich has also rented an area, of 53 sqm, joining other chains Gong Cha (18 sqm), Rice Workshop (48 sqm), Roll’d (39 sqm), Thailander (63 sqm) and Zambrero (73 sqm).

St Ali owner Salvatore Malatesta has leased two spaces within the Parkville development.

Albert Park-based premium Japanese seafood bar Moonfishh will set up a 20 sqm shop.

These businesses will be accompanied by Health Smart Pharmacy (which has committed to 49 sqm), The Campus General Store (151 sqm), Passeggiata (39 sqm) and Superfragilistic (43 sqm).

Colliers’ Adam Lester and Jennifer Tai are marketing the spaces, some which are allowed to be licenced.

New Student Precinct

The New Student Precinct incorporates seven structures between the historic 1888 Building and Monash Road – near the Parkville station, part of the Metro Tunnel project, which is under construction.

With completion in stages until the end of the year, it is designed with about 1575 sqm of hospitality and retail area including a supermarket.

It will also offer tenancies for healthcare services, an Arts and Cultural Building, event spaces including an amphitheatre (artist’s impression, top) and 3500 study seats (story continues below).

The University of Melbourne recently sold its former Hawthorn campus to Hamton.

“We have been inundated with overwhelming demand from retailers who are attracted to the opportunity to invest in these new, open common spaces for students and the public, where there is a strong focus on sustainability and community,” Mr Lester said.

The University of Melbourne will operate a 7.2 hectare campus at Fishermans Bend.

“The New Student Precinct provides a place for students, staff and the wider community to engage, learn and grow, and is central to delivering the University’s ambition for a world-class, campus-based student experience,” according to the executive.

“The new precinct will offer laneways and spaces for dining and social interaction, which will be positioned along high traffic pedestrian routes, offering a mix of fast casual dining, quick service restaurants, ‘grab and go’ and cafes, while the retail offering will be centred on convenience and daily essentials,” Ms Tai added.

The university holds a substantial portfolio of assets around its border – including the former City Ford dealership, abutting the Haymarket Roundabout.

In late 2019 the school paid the Australian Red Cross c$46m for adjoining Carlton offices on the north west corner of Bouverie and Pelham streets.

A division of the educator, Trinity College, in 2019 pre-committed to an Elizabeth St office for its campus, however backed out of the deal following COVID (part of that space was later leased to the Royal Melbourne Hospital).

Elsewhere in Melbourne, this month, Victoria University listed its former 12-level CBD campus at 225 King St, which sources speculate could fetch c$40m.

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Marc Pallisco

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