University of Melbourne’s Trinity College set to open a vertical campus at the top of town

The University of Melbourne’s Trinity College is the latest school to commit to a vertical campus.

The educational institution has signed a 10-year lease for 9500 square metres of a 20,000 sqm complex set to be developed atop the historic ex-Melford Motors building, now occupied by Melbourne City Toyota, at 611-681 Elizabeth Street.

The proposed building forms part of the first stage of a $750 million bio-medical precinct called Elizabeth North which will add 70,000 sqm of lettable area within three buildings near the top of the street, close to the Haymarket roundabout.

The deal was first mooted by The Australian two weeks ago.

A Google Street View image of the heritage protected ex-Melford Motors building at 611-681 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.

PDG Corporation acquired 611-681 Elizabeth Street from Toyota Australia following an off-market deal in 2017.

Elizabeth North will be constructed on this site and the neighbouring Bob Jane T-Mart outlet, at 683-699 Elizabeth Street – a combined 7000 sqm holding.

Trinity College will occupy the new building with Melbourne City Toyota.

The site is close to the Parkville train station, which is under construction as part of the $11 billion Metro Tunnel project.

It will be the school’s second campus. In 2017, Trinity College opened at the award-winning Gateway Building, on the grounds of the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus, nearby.

The Gateway Building at Parkville opened in 2017.

“The creation of a second campus will provide another world-class facility for our international Foundation Studies students,” Trinity College CEO Professor Ken Hinchliff said.

“The new building will include dedicated recreation and study spaces, as well as teaching and learning facilities, optimally designed for learning by our talented students”.

Colliers International’s Edward Knowles and Michael Darvell represented PDG Corporation.

According to Mr Knowles, PDG’s proposal “is primed to become Melbourne’s newest education and bio-medical precinct”.

Construction of the three buildings is scheduled for completion in mid-2022.

Construction of the three buildings which form Elizabeth North is scheduled for completion in mid-2022.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Trinity College in developing its state-of-the-art teaching campus in the heart of Melbourne’s Education and Biomedical Hub,” PDG development director, Sebastian Mahoney, said.

“Achieving this significant milestone is in line with PDG’s strategic vision for Elizabeth North, as well as the State’s planning framework, which is to target a range of education, research and medical uses in creating an internationally renowned knowledge district in this part of Melbourne”.

“This also now completes the final pre-commitments for Stage 1, which is now 100 per cent leased, with construction targeted to commence in the coming months,” Mr Mahoney added.

Last week we reported that Swinburne University was paying about $45 million for the historic Invicta House building in the city’s Flinders Lane, which is also set to be reconfigured as a vertical school campus.

Monash University is also planning a high-rise school, committing in 2017 to a 10-level, 37,300 sqm building at GPT Group’s750 Collins Street, in Docklands.

Victoria University is also planning to occupy a vertical campus, after selling three sites to developer ISPT on the basis the institution will build a 32-level building, to be known as VU Tower, on one of them, 364-378 Little Lonsdale Street. Victoria University will rent this building from ISPT for 30 years.

In 2015, Haileybury College paid $50 million for an office at 383 King Street, West Melbourne, opposite Flagstaff Gardens, which has since been refurbished, and open, as a city campus.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of