Major Projects to Proceed in Cranbourne, Melbourne

IT has been a busy period in Melbourne’s outer south-east.

Last week, Planning Minister Justin Madden unveiled a master plan for a new suburb, Cranbourne East, capable of accommodating 20,000 people.

Now, in nearby Cranbourne West, first time developer Wolfdene is readying to start marketing the first blocks within its $56 million Alarah estate, at 660 Hall Road.

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Are Melbourne Apartments Still a Safe Investment?

So now what?

After nine years adopting the previous state government’s hugely contentious Melbourne 2030 planning policy – the city’s development landscape is set to change, and apartments may be on the nose.

In one of its first official acts – and as it promised to do before the November 21 election – the Baillieu government has destroyed Labor government planning laws facilitating higher density redevelopment (ie, over three storeys) along all public transport nodes.

In Opposition, Planning Minister Matthew Guy said Melbourne risked becoming dysfunctional, and losing its character permanently, unless suburban apartment construction was curbed.

In power, Mr Guy has committed to a two year audit and consultation program to determine a new model of metropolitan planning.

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ALP’s Commission Flat Building Boom Underway Without Community Consultation

THE Federal Government’s contentious plan to build record amounts of commission flats and social housing around your streets, and without proper community consultation – seems to finally have caught the attention of the wider community.

Despite anger in some States that details about the mass roll-out of commission flats have been deliberately kept from the community – the State ALP governments are pushing ahead with major public housing projects.

State governments need to do so in an attempt to collect part of the massive taxpayer-funded $5.6 billion the Federal ALP government has allocated to the initiative, for projects completed before a 2012 deadline.

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Developer Employs Julia Gillard’s Partner to Sell Apartments

THE PROPERTY developer which recently and curiously appointed would-be-Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s partner, Tim Mathieson, a hair products salesman, to sell its luxury apartments, has sought Ministerial approval to build a landmark skyscraper, opposite the Queen Victoria Market and Flagstaff Gardens.

Ubertas Group plans to demolish an existing two-level office building at 330 – 360 William Street, and replace it with one of two high density proposals, which the government says – because of the development’s proposed scale – the Minister for Planning Justin Madden must approve.

The biggest proposal being considered is for a 50-level complex with 626 apartments, but earlier this month a (relatively) smaller proposal, of 35-levels and including 476 apartments, was submitted to the Minister for consideration, a spokeswoman for Mr Madden’s office said.

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Federal Government’s Beleagured NRAS Suffers Another Setback

THE federal government’s ailing National Rental Affordability Scheme has suffered a convenient setback.

The $623 million initiative – introduced by Kevin Rudd in 2008, and then part-cut by Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan in recent budgets – has lost another private sector backer which was to have provided 255 affordable housing units in Coburg.

Developer Hamton, with joint venture partner Macquarie Real Estate Investment Equity Fund, has quietly rescheduled the start date of its contentious Coburg High School redevelopment – Circa (artist impression, above).

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Local Resident Outmuscles Developers For Prominent Kew Site, Melbourne

THE street may share the same name as redundant, pro-development Planning Minister Justin Madden.

But around ritzy Madden Grove, Kew, residents value the character of their streets – and are prepared to pay to avoid being overrun by medium density development.

In an extraordinary deal, a local resident has paid a speculated $9 million for the former University of Melbourne Early Childhood Development campus, which the school sold 12 years ago, and was to become that suburb’s next major apartment complex.

The imposing property at 6 – 12 Madden Grove has been handpassed to a variety of developers since 1999. What was a 4973 square metre campus that started at #2, was sliced to become a 3502 square metre site, which was offered for sale late last year.

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Doncaster Public Housing Block Reaches Full Height

MELBOURNE’s next public housing tower – a 10-level, 98-unit complex opposite Doncaster Shoppingtown – has reached its full height.

A “topping” ceremony will be held this Thursday to celebrate the suburb’s new landmark – with Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness (and Sport  and Indigenous Employment and Economic Development) Mark Arbib likely to attend. State government representatives, and the developer, Bendigo-based not-for-profit group Loddon Mallee Housing Services will also be there.

The 95 – 99 Tram Road affordable housing complex is being funded using money from the Commonwealth Government’s Nation Building Economic Stimulus which aims to deliver 4500 new rental homes for low income earning Victorians.

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Hong Kong Listed Developer Far East Consortium to Sell Controversial Melbourne Development Site

HONG Kong based developer Far East Consortium is selling a controversial development site, so that it can concentrate on another one.

Far East, which has been listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange since 1972, can expect about $6.25 million for the former AMF Bowling Centre at the north-east corner of Victoria Road and Separation Street in Northcote.

It paid Macquarie $5 million for the 4716 square metre site in early 2009, before pushing ahead with a major residential proposal.

Macquarie acquired the asset in 2004 when it paid AMF Bowling Centres $67.4 million for its Australian portfolio.

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IKEA to Open at Pipeworks Market Site, Campbellfield, Melbourne

VICTORIAN Planning Minister Justin Madden has approved a planning permit and rezoning of Campbellfield’s Pipeworks Market, paving the way for Swedish furniture giant IKEA to open a new store there.

The 41,000 square metre IKEA store will be the group’s biggest in Australia. It will replace Pipeworks address at 400 Mahoneys Road.

In Melbourne, IKEA also trades from Victoria Gardens in Richmond, and is building another store in Springvale, near a new, large Harvey Norman store.

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Madden’s Clayton Development One Step Closer

Justin MaddenTHE Monash City Council didn’t want it – but Planning Minister Justin Madden did – and now one of the south-eastern suburb’s biggest public-private housing developments is set to start construction soon, in Clayton.

After more than ten years of debate, a $270 million apartment-based complex will replace a low-rise shopping centre at the busy north-east corner of Dandenong and Blackburn roads.

Approximately 400 apartments will be developed as part of The Nova Centre redevelopment – many to accommodate public housing residents, and students. A hotel and shopping centre will also be built on the site.

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Madden Approves $140 Million in Public Housing Projects in Ashwood, Chadstone

ALP Wants 80000 More by 2012VICTORIAN Planning Minister Justin Madden has paved the way for one of the state’s biggest public housing-based estates to be developed in Melbourne’s south-east.

The $140 million Ashwood Chadstone Gateway project affects six major development sites in Ashwood and Chadstone, near the Chadstone Shopping Centre.

With ministerial approval given on Thursday, the public housing project is expected to start construction in July.

Commission flat towers will rise between four and seven levels at sites around Warrigal Road, the Holmesglen and Jordanville train stations, and around the Ashwood Reserve and Harlequin Rugby Club.

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Ubertas Group to Sell Last Apartments at 505 St Kilda Road

A UNIQUE luxury apartment with a “left-wing” connection has hit the market, as the developer of a new complex clears the last of the unsold apartments.

The double-storey “townhouse-style” apartment is on the ground floor of Ubertas Group’s 505 St Kilda Road complex, a project built on the site of what was St Kilda Road’s first high-rise office.

The 505 complex is absolute park-front, having a security door connecting residents to the massive Fawkner Park. The apartment itself (G02) includes two bedrooms, a study, two car parks, downstairs courtyard and upstairs balcony – both with a park vista.

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Controversial Planning Policy Claims Eastern Suburbs Most Prized Development Site

Geoffrey RushTHE CONTENTIOUS planning policy that eastern suburb-based actor Geoffrey Rush warned in 2004 “would fundamentally alter the tone and character of Melbourne in a way that I don’t believe people are quite aware of” has finally claimed the eastern suburb’s most prized development site.

The Camberwell Station redevelopment – one of the earliest and highest profile planning disputes to arise after the 2002 Melbourne 2030 blueprint (since turned into the Melbourne @ 5 Million planning policy) – should see construction start this year.

Boutique builder Arno (a brand of the developer reported previously as Tenterfield) is accepting registrations of interest for apartments in a major new development, The Place.

 

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Planning Strategy Affecting 2400 Hectares Between Caroline Springs and Melton Being Formalised, Tenders Called

THE FORMER “thoroughbred country” of Melton is a step closer to becoming part of metropolitan Melbourne, with the council formalising a major planning strategy affecting 2400 hectares of vacant land – effectively creating two new suburbs and allowing for the area’s population to more than double within 15 years.

The affected land between Paynes Road at Rockbank (some 30 kilometres from town) and Toolern Creek, at Melton South (40 kilometres away) is proposed to make way for two new activity centres, shops, offices, a new train station, and low, medium and high density residential.

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Geelong Commission Flat Site Listed For Private Sale

Geelong's Next Commission FlatsWHILE attention in Geelong’s this week has circled the ‘approved-by-stealth’ public-private housing redevelopment of the city’s former TAFE site, another high profile property – given the green light last year to become one of the federal government’s 80,000 social and affordable new dwellings – failed to sell at auction.

Grey concrete silos at 46 – 48 Mercer Street, at the corner of Roy Street, and near the town centre – has now been listed for private sale through Colliers International at $1.95 million.

A 40-unit affordable housing development has been approved to be developed within the walls of the high-rise silos, prominent on the drive in to Geelong.

The Rudd government aims to substantially boost the number of social and affordable houses nationally by 2012.

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India-Based DEC to Start Building Apartments Next Door to Beverley Hills Building, South Yarra

Elan South YarraDEC, the India-based development company whose star-studded Australian launch last year saw Planning Minister Justin Madden skip one of his six November parliamentary sittings, has started construction of a luxury apartment complex, next door to South Yarra’s distinctive Beverley Hills building.

The Elan complex, at 59 Darling Road, opposite the Yarra River, will include seven two-bedroom apartments, and a penthouse, taking out all of the top two levels of the six level complex.

A Moreton Bay Fig Tree, once a part of the Beverley Hill’s apartment building’s famous side  garden, and valued by council at more than $2 million, will be retained.

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Victorian Minister Justin Madden Facing Second Vote of no Confidence in a Year

VICTORIAN Planning Minister Justin Madden is “expected to face a grilling” at this month’s parliamentary inquiry into corruption in the planning system.

The Labor Party is in damage control, and its credibility under serious question, after a senior media adviser sent an email which proposed using a public consultation, as grounds to knock back plans for a 25-level tower behind the Windsor Hotel, the fate of which may have already been decided.

The final decision about the project rests with Justin Madden, and the email was meant for him.

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Minister Justin Madden Approves Controversial Development in Clayton

Justin MaddenAFTER a decade of debate, the Minister for Planning Justin Madden has gone against the local council and approved a major development, at a prominent junction in Melbourne’s south-east suburb of Clayton.

The decision paves the way for a low-rise shopping centre on the north-east corner of Dandenong and Blackburn roads to be demolished, and replaced with towers incorporating about 400 apartments, a hotel, a new shopping centre, and landscaped gardens.

About 10 per cent of units in the project will be set aside for affordable housing. Most of the remaining units will be targeted to students. Sources speculate the project will have an end value of about $270 million.

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Housing Industry Association Slams Victorian Government For Threatening Not to Expand the Urban Growth Boundary

The Housing Industry Association is pleased the Victorian Government’s unfair levy on new housing has been defeated in parliament, but is now calling on the Government to proceed with the expansion of Melbourne’s growth boundary or risk jeopardising the state’s land supply and affordability.

“It is disappointing that the Brumby Government is still holding the housing industry to ransom by threatening not to expand the Urban Growth Boundary,” HIA Victorian Executive Director Gil King said.

“This will seriously impact on the cost of land and housing. How can Premier John Brumby break his commitment to ensure adequate land supply into the future?”

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