Riverlee approved to develop $2b Epping village

New Epping will contain about 2000 dwellings including aged care.

Nearly two years since turning the first sod at its New Epping project – for 151 affordable and social housing units in three buildings, between five and eight storeys, managed by Haven, Home and Safe – Riverlee has won permission to replace the balance of the 51 hectare block.

A waterway forms part of the Epping Quarry redevelopment.

With an end value of $2 billion, its carbon neutral proposal for the former Epping Quarry includes 2000 dwellings – a mix including retirement homes and apartments – and 110,000 square metres of offices and shops, including in a town centre.

Over 51 hectares, the project is expected to take 15 years to complete.

It also contains a healthcare precinct near the Northern Hospital, which has Victoria’s busiest emergency department.

A large chunk of the Riverlee block will make way for parkland and rehabilitated waterway.

The City of Whittlesea approved the development on Tuesday.

The first stage, construction of which commenced in 2021, will also add a private hospital to be operated by Ramsay Health Care.

Riverlee, established 30 years ago by Clement Lee, paid $14m for 46ha ex-quarry in 2015, later adding neighbouring blocks.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, the group is behind the Seafarers apartment and 1 Hotel, near Docklands.

It also has a stake in a Swan Street, Richmond, office once co-owned by former premier Jeff Kennett.

Healthcare hub

Upon completion in 15 years, businesses within New Epping are expected to contribute one per cent to Victoria’s annual GDP, the developer said.

“We want New Epping to set a new standard in urban renewal, with a more thoughtful approach to how we regenerate infill sites and integrate mixed-use communities,” Riverlee development manager, David Lee, added (story continues below).

La Trobe University is planning a $5 billion mixed-use redevelopment of its Bundoora campus.

The City of Whittlesea’s population is expected to grow from 220,000 to 380,000 by 2041, according to the executive; agents say Epping is considered the capital of Melbourne’s north, especially in industrial circles.

“Healthcare is one of the largest employers in the area,” Mr Lee said.

“Situated next to the [Northern] hospital, New Epping’s seven hectare health, wellness and knowledge precinct will generate an additional 646…jobs in allied health.

“Plans for New Epping also include the Northern Private Hospital, which was fast tracked by the Victorian government in 2020 and is…under construction.

“Operated by Ramsay Health Care, it will create a further 726 jobs once in operation.

“The provision of a new health and wellness precinct at New Epping will guarantee the wellbeing of its residents, create jobs and help the state’s healthcare system cope with demand”.

City of Whittlesea chair Lydia Wilson said the former Epping Quarry has laid dormant for decades.

“It is transforming is something the entire community can look forward to,” she added.

Elsewhere in Melbourne’s north, La Trobe University, in partnership with Plenary, is planning a $5b mixed-use redevelopment of its Bundoora campus.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.