Sydney-based Valad Property Group, with joint venture partner Abadeen Group, is seeking a change to the location, shape and size of buildings once earmarked for Coburg’s former HM Prison Pentridge complex, which officially closed twelve years ago.
Valad’s new proposal includes increasing the number of dwellings, from a previously reported 1130 to about 1340. It said its proposed new redevelopment, which will also include more shops, will retain all significant heritage buildings on the site.
A Valad spokesman declined to comment on speculation it would sell the Coburg site, if it obtained a development permit.
The property is close to the corner of Bell Street and Sydney Road, the epicentre of a recently approved $1 billion State Government and council plan to invigorate the northern suburb.
Pentridge was dubbed The Bluestone College during its 147-year working history, and has housed convicted criminals including Ned Kelly, Mark “Chopper” Read, and 3AW radio personality Derryn Hinch.
The 34-hectare Coburg prison neighboured two schools, a kindergarten, a church and houses.
It was sold in 1999 to developer Grandview Square, which split the former prison into two lots, commonly referred to as Pentridge Village (along Urquhart Street) and Pentridge Piazza, the portion owned by Valad along Champ Street.
Valad paid $42.5 million for its 6.5 hectare slice of Pentridge in 2007.
Valad’s new submission to council differs from the previous owner’s master plan vision for the site.