Coburg gains some long sought-after initiative

With the Coburg Initiative all but a memory, Minister for Planning Richard Wynne last week gave Coburg a fresh direction with the approval of the suburb's new structure plan. 80 hectares will be captured within a new activity centre which will see varying height limits, peaking at a discretionary maximum of 13 levels.

Much was expected of the original Coburg Initiative which at the time saw a partnership between Moreland City Council and local developer Equiset, with the aim of facilitating a $1 billion dollar overhaul of the heart of Coburg based loosely around the intersection of Bell Street and Sydney Road.

Since the Initative's failure during 2011, limited development has occurred within the area, although the renewed development guidelines are now expected to hasten increased development (and particularly apartment) activity.

Concepts for Pentridge have come and gone in recent years, such as NH Architecture's above

Last week's announcement coincides with developer Future Estate's advancement of plans for Pentridge Village. After purchasing 41,000sqm of prime development land for $27 million earlier this year, the Sydney-based developer is now free to progressively roll out numerous apartment buildings within the former grounds of Pentridge.

Pentridge itself has been subject to numerous apartment projects, masterplans and concept designs in recent years.

ROTHELOWMAN has been engaged to produce the initial offerings in the Future Estate development which will be known as Coburg Quarter, and based upon the initial renders it will be a leap forward in built form design relative to the handful of low quality, small-scale apartment blocks that have been built onsite to date.

A new look for Pentridge. Image courtesy ROTHELOWMAN

Of course it's not all about future intent in Coburg, with a handful of current apartment projects making their mark. 51 Gaffney Street, Mayor Anderson Apartments and Shayher Group's Horizon Coburg are all currently under construction.

With a combined 187 apartments between the three projects set for delivery during 2016, they themselves are shadowed by a number of larger upcoming projects in the area. JAM Architects are displaying new imagery online for Bell on Sydney with in excess of 200 apartments expected for the now vacant site at 519 Sydney Road.

519-537 Sydney Road & 718-724 Sydney Road. Images courtesy JAM & Particular

Further 81 Bell Street is before VCAT with the body set to rule upon the submission which includes 391 dwellings while 200-216 Sydney Road is at planning with a mixed-use development under consideration; 124 apartments are included within the six level design.

Nearby and Land Republic has engaged architecture firm Particular for their pending redevelopment of 718-724 Sydney Road Coburg North, with dual six level buildings spreading the grip of apartment living further north.

Lead image courtesy F2 Architecture.

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