A Review of Melbourne Apartment Projects: Those Marketed; Those Canned

INCENTIVES offered to stimulate apartment construction during the economic downturn, such as record low interest rates, and first home owner grants, have resulted in some of the city’s biggest, boldest apartment-based projects being offered to the market.

But not all developers could get their projects out of the ground.

Domain took a look at some of the more ambitious redevelopment proposals launched, and canned, since its last Apartment Guide, in Spring 2010:

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Baillieu Government $5.5 Million Richer After Parkville Police Station Sale

THE cash-strapped Baillieu government is some $5.5 million richer after selling a prominent Parkville property to developers.

The former Parkville police station at 155 Royal Parade was listed for sale after the boys in blue relocated to a new four-storey facility in Wreckyn Street, North Melbourne.

On an 1802 square metre block and with two street frontages (see aerial picture, right), the site is expected to be replaced with an apartment complex exploiting unobstructed park views. It is unknown whether an original station building, developed in 1878 will be retained as part of the redevelopment.

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Australand Consortium to Build Apartment Compound Opposite Melbourne Uni

GIVEN the increasing number of apartment dwellers calling Melbourne’s inner north home, a “direct” trip between the Tullamarine and Eastern freeways – via the zoo and cemetery – can now consume motorist’s an hour, or more, largely because of amplified traffic congestion.

But it would appear in government planning meetings, bottlenecks like that around Elliott Avenue, Macarthur Road and the University of Melbourne have received less consideration than other crisis-ridden road systems – like the ones in suburbs between Seaford and Mt Martha where the $759 million (and many say unnecessary) Peninsula Link was recently given the green light.

Instead, the state government has appointed builder Australand to develop a major apartment compound at one of the inner-city’s last remaining vacant development sites, opposite the Melbourne General Cemetery, the University of Melbourne – and the busy roundabout that connects these two sites to Swanston Street.

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Aged Care Village Replaces Melbourne Commonwealth Village Apartment Block, Parkville

WHILE attention has focussed recently on the New Delhi Commonwealth Games Village site, builder LU Simon has been refitting part of the 2006 former Melbourne village into a luxury retirement living complex.

The $23 million redevelopment has seen the Parkville site, at Cade Way rebuilt as Mercy Place Apartments a high end development with 52 units configured as one, two and three bedroom flats.

Residents must be 65 years or older to buy into Mercy Place Apartments. The complex includes an internet kiosk and rooftop entertaining and function room with a city skyline backdrop.

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Naughton’s Hotel, Parkville, For Lease

Naughton's Hotel, ParkvilleIN another sign yuppies are replacing the student and working class-base that once defined Parkville and Carlton culture– the Naughton’s Hotel building is being offered for lease, targeting high-end tenants that can reposition the pub as a fancy restaurant.

Ending speculation the iconic Royal Parade pub would be rebuilt as student accommodation, as many other drinking holes in the area have – Alexander Robertson leasing agent Stephen Byrne instead said the building’s owner is seeking a long term operator.

Coincidentally Mr Byrne’s family operated Naughton’s for about 25 years. The building was last reported as selling to a private investor for $3.2 million in March 2006.

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Melbourne Freeway Apex Set to See Construction of New Tower

THE FREEWAY apex where commuters decide to access the Melbourne CBD via Flemington Road (north), or Citylink (south) – could see the construction of a new landmark this year.

In a sign of how far density levels have come in the inner-city, the 107 – 115 Manningham Street site, opposite Royal Park, in Parkville, will be sold with a permit for a seven-level, 163-unit tower.

It will replace a three-level, 28-unit unrenovated apartment complex currently on the site.

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