Hotspots: Lygon Street, East Brunswick

If I were to simply mention Lygon Street, most would automatically assume I was talking about Little Italia in Carlton. Approximately 2km North of the cafés, pizzerias and gelato shoppes of Carlton, Lygon Street, East Brunswick has turned into a nightlife and development hotspot. Truth be known Lygon Street is the border of Brunswick and East Brunswick however many of the locals simply refer to both sides of the street as East Brunswick, much like Smith Street is the border between Fitzroy and Collingwood and "Smith St Collingwood" is the generally accepted locale reference, 

The 1.2 km stretch of Lygon Street intersecting with Brunswick Road to the south and Albion Street to the north is a hotbed of bars & pubs, wholesale outlets, restaurants, brothels, unique retailers, derelict buildings, some remnant light industry - you name it, it's got it. Of particular interest to the myself and other UM staff members are the breweries and craft beer venues that have recently flourished, yet the area is also seeing substantial interest from developers keen to leverage off this neighbourhood's appeal and as UrbanMelbourne does, we've tracked all major projects from proposal through to construction.

UrbanMelbourne earlier this year touched upon the Transforming Australian Cities strategy that aims to focus higher-density development along existing public transport corridors and the strategy maintains new development should be low to mid-rise.  Blessed with 2 tram routes running on the one track - the #1 and #8 - Lygon Street sees very high frequency of service between Moreland Road (further north) to  Swanston Street where the two lines merge with others tram services at Melbourne University.  Throw in a healthy mix of cross-town bus routes on key East-West arterials, although many of the individual bus routes could be improved, an existing & thriving retail sector and you have a recipe which can sustain a higher residential and working population.

As the gallery (page bottom) shows, many recent builds and new apartments are forming a street wall approximately 3-4 levels high, with setbacks forming small-scale towers beyond - this is important as it demonstrates we can build more density into existing areas whilst maintaining streetscape sun penetration.

To date Lygon Street has mainly attracted residential development, but one wonders if this will always remain the case given the excellent connectivity and general appeal of the area.  Below is a list of the projects UrbanMelbourne is monitoring and no doubt there'll be many more to come over the years.

Upper Lygon - 457-459 Lygon Street.

Under Construction


Kale Apartments - 455 Lygon Street.

Registration & Sales


Stratus - 360 Lygon Street.

Under construction


The East - 280 Lygon Street.

Registration & Sales


Joulia - 200 Lygon Street

Under Construction


Tip Top - 170 Edward Street

Under Construction


11-13 Lygon Street



6-20 Lygon Street



Below is a gallery of some recent construction images taken by staff on Lygon Street, East Brunswick

Looking North from Weston Street

Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 12:00
The marriage of old and new can be a difficult process, particularly when the existing structure has intrinsic heritage value. In previous times Fitzroy's 237 Napier Street served as the home of furniture manufacturer C.F. Rojo and Sons. Taking root during 1887, Christobel Rojo oversaw operations though over time the site would become home to furniture manufacturer Thonet.

Visual Melbourne

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 07:00
The former site of John Batman's home, Batman's Hill is entering the final stages of its redevelopment. Collins Square's final tower has begun its skyward ascent, as has Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter Commercial and Residential precinct already. Melbourne Quarter's first stage is at construction and involves a new 12-storey home for consultancy firm Arup along with a skypark.

Transport & Design

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:00
Cbus Property's office development for Medibank at 720 Bourke Street in Docklands recently became the first Australian existing property to receive a WELL Certification, Gold Shell and Core rating. The WELL rating goes beyond sustainable building features with a greater focus on the health and well-being of a building's occupants.