Inner-city development opportunities the size of the Alphington Paper Mill site are not common occurrences. At 16.5 hectares the suburb-sized land parcel corners Heidelberg Road and the Chandler Highway, and fronts Yarra River on its southern boundary.
Developer Glenvill Group has begun the process of redeveloping the massive tract of land which is now dubbed YarraBend, envisaging a mixed-use enclave encompassing medium and high density living, retail, offices, open spaces and community facilities. The process of development will be guided by a site-specific Development Plan which was solidified after more than 18 months of planning.
At the heart of the development plan are key community-based outcomes such as 4.5% of the site being seeded to open space and at least 1,700sqm of space being made available for community facilities.
Glenvill Group has chosen to exceed the minimum community-based requirements of the development plan, in an effort to position YarraBend as Melbourne's premier example of what an amenity-driven development can achieve. Len Warson, Chairman and CEO of Glenvill Group spoke to Urban Melbourne this week regarding the merits of the sharing economy model that explores the merits of sharing communal spaces with neighbours.
Approximately a year before the first sod is turned for construction, Glenvill Group has bedded down a wide-ranging amenities plan. Len Warson explains that YarraBend will have the best possible amenities in place for future buyers, likening them to hotel/resort style experience.
"People want convenience, they want to maximise the use of their time" Warson states, asserting that buyers will be provided with a wealth of amenities within YarraBend, allowing residents to enjoy the best of Yarra Bend and surrounding Alphington.
This, in turn, fosters an inclusive, connected and socially adaptive community. Len Warson also believes that dwellings over the site will increase in value due to the mass of amenities on offer.
YarraBend's development plan incorporates five separate green spaces which will account for roughly 30,000sqm of parkland onsite, including direct access to the Yarra River.
Len Warson refers to YarraBend as 'Tesla Town' due to its advanced use of technology. A charge point suburb, Glenvill Group has moved to eventually secure a 6 Star Green Star Rating for the suburb, whilst future residents will also be able to utilise a dedicated YarraBend app that will aid in day to day activities within the suburb.
Indeed technology is one of the 'pillars' that YarraBend's amenity is based upon, with other such as health, arts & culture, education and gastronomy taken into consideration.
A shopping centre and 2,000sqm artisan gastronomy precinct are planned, as is an outdoor cinema. It is five level glass pavillion that Len Warson explains will be the design showpiece for YarraBend's amenity credentials. A theatre and sports recreation area are included, as are meeting rooms and a rooftop bar.
As for Parkview, YarraBend's initial apartment release, Len Warson makes note of the project's strong sales uptake. Sold as an entirely retail project in order to attract owner-occupiers, the DKO Architecture-designed building achieved 50% sales in the opening 6-8 weeks of its campaign.
It too will be heavy with amenity and includes a rooftop terrace with pool and heated onsen spa, residents’ lounge with fireplace, private dining room accompanied by a wine cellar and a gym.