Breathing New Life Into Melbourne’s Landmark Sites

Pentridge Prison, CoburgTHIRTY years ago a three-bedroom house in Thomastown cost more than a three-bedroom house in Fitzroy – that’s testament to how much Melbourne’s attitude to housing has changed.

In the 1970s, to live in Collingwood, Port Melbourne or Yarraville meant to be entrenched in Melbourne’s working class. Houses could languish on the market for months – unsellable, unrentable and not worth fixing up.

Today, to own properties in these and many other particularly inner-city suburbs, is to own the real estate equivalent of a gold mine. Since the 1980s, but especially since the turn of this century, where and how Melburnians want to live has shifted and many disused, derelict but once significant sites have been redeveloped. We look at some of the biggest:

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VicUrban Poised to Seize CSIRO Highett Site, Melbourne

THE state government’s development arm is poised to seize control of a highly-anticipated infill site within a south-eastern suburb that may soon have its own skyline.

Well placed industry sources say VicUrban is negotiating to acquire the CSIRO’s outgoing Land and Research Highett Laboratory some 16 kilometres south-east of town near the Southland Shopping Centre and an as-yet-undeveloped train station.

The CSIRO laboratory has been anticipated as a residential development site for years but particularly since 1996 when council rezoned land in Highett, and neighbouring Sandringham and Cheltenham from Industrial 1 to Business 3, and increased height limits to 14 metres to allow for the construction of commercial premises.

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Federal Government to Offload CSIRO Highett Site Soon

ENDING years of speculation, the federal government is readying to sell one of the south-eastern suburb’s most anticipated development sites.

Under the guidelines of the Commonwealth Property Disposals Policy, the 9.5 hectare CSIRO Land and Research Highett Laboratory is expected to be offered for sale this financial year.

Bayside City Council held a meeting with the federal government late last month to pitch its thoughts for the site which runs between Highett and Bay roads, near the Highett train stations, about 16 kilometres from the CBD and near the more exclusive suburbs of Hampton and Sandringham.

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Major 24-Level Skyscraper Proposed For Footscray

SPOTTING Footscray from the CBD, Geelong, Melbourne Airport, or any building in metropolitan Melbourne with a westerly outlook may be a lot easier from next year.

New planning minister Matthew Guy is reviewing an application for a 24-level, 222-unit complex which, if approved, would be the most ambitious skyscraper ever built in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

The $90 million proposal, which will also include ground floor shops and a five-level underground car park will replace a double-storey factory bound by Moreland and Warde streets, and Neilson Place. The site is west of the Le Mans Toyota dealership which recently sold for $21 million to the state government’s development arm, VicUrban.

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Prominent Docklands Development Site Listed For Sale

A PROMINENT Docklands development site has hit the market after years of frustration from real estate agents, who claim never to have been given the opportunity to offer the site to their clients.

Victoria’s new planning minister Matthew Guy has ordered VicUrban list for sale a major 2 hectare ste at the corner of Collins and Flinders streets.

VicUrban had previously give nmanagement control of the site to developer Sama Dubai, but a proposed $1.5 billion redevelopment, which was to have included a 60-level tower, was never marketed. The site abuts Lang Walker’s precinct of the multi-billion Docklands redevelopment.

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Major Riverfront Footscray Site Hits The Market

IT’S bad enough if the site next-door to the one you just bought gets listed for sale, targeting developers.

It’s worse when you just spent $21 million of taxpayer money, and if the redevelopment next door robs the million dollar views you planned to exploit in your own marketing.

Sadly this is what’s happening on the Footscray waterfront right now.

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Victorian State Government Pays $21 Million For Riverfront Development Site, Footscray

AS PART of its push to ensure there is a 20 – 25 year supply of land available for residential development, the new state government’s development agency, VicUrban, has outmuscled developers for one of the western suburb’s most prominent future development sites.

VicUrban is believed to be paying about $21 million for the outgoing Le Mans Toyota car dealership, overlooking the banks of the Maribyrnong River and at the suburb border of Footscray and West Melbourne.

The 1.3 hectare site is opposite the Hopetoun Bridge, which connects Hopkins Street to Dynon Road, near Melbourne’s Market precinct.

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