Essendon's model example set for another addition

During 2015 Urban Melbourne highlighted Essendon's Keilor Road and surrounds as a prime example of progressive high density living along a transport corridor.

More specifically Keilor Road's drift toward medium density development is essentially what was envisaged by City of Melbourne's Director of City Design, Rob Adams in his Transforming Australian Cities study. Principally focused on exploring "The potential yield that could accrue through good urban design of the urban corridors/strategic sites," Keilor Road and the adjoining Mount Alexander Road fit the bill with both tram and bus services present.

Fast forward beyond last year's article and Moonee Valley City Council are assessing the latest development looking to call upon Keilor Road with Romano Property Group seeking to add 142 apartments to the evolving strip.

165-169 Keilor Road Essendon Development Summary

Keilor Road perspective. Image courtesy ClarkeHopkinsClarke
  • Currently vacant former car dealership covering 4,470sqm.
  • Three apartments buildings proposed of up to seven levels or 21.6 metres.
  • 142 apartments: 59 * 1BR, 68 * 2BR, 15 * 3BR.
  • 203 car parking spaces, 135 bicycle spaces and 114 storage units included.
  • Three ground floor tenancies: 1,000 sqm.
  • Dual rooftop terraces.
  • Project value: $30 million.

ClarkeHopkinsClarke have designed 165-169 Keilor Road, continuing their relationship with Romano Property Group which now see's a handful of ClarkeHopkinsClarke-designed projects in development for the North Melbourne-based outfit.

At 4,470sqm and with 107 metres frontage to Keilor Road, the former ŠKODA dealership continues the trend of large development plots in the area being repurposed into sizeable apartment developments. A former stronghold of various car dealerships which have since been lured to Essendon Fields, 165-169 Keilor Road represents one of the last sites along the strip to go this way.

One in, all in

The domino-like fall of these prime Keilor Road and Mt Alexander Road sites has accelerated in recent years, while the scale of apartment buildings proposed has also increased.

Directly opposite 165-169 Keilor Road, Blue Earth Group have sought approval for an apartment development on what was a former Nissan dealership. Amended plans would see 232 apartments created within a multi-staged, CHT Architects-designed apartment building. The project at 144-160 Keilor Road is now in the hands of VCAT after the adjusted plans were submitted during October.

CHC's Parkside alongside CHT's 144-160 Keilor Road

ClarkeHopkinsClarke are also enjoying further exposure within Essendon with two additional projects in development. Accord Property Group's Alexa is under construction while Parkside Essendon is Goal Property Group's latest pursuit.

CBD Development Group shapes as the latest entrant into the area, running with a sizeable apartment development at 1144 Mt Alexander Road. Yet to reach City of Moonee Valley's planning channels, the project dubbed Unique on the Park is the design of Peddle Thorp and will feature a full size Coles supermarket at ground level along with ancillary retail.

Leake Street, Alexa and CBD Property Group's pending 1144 Mt Alexander Road

Keilor Road's most recent apartment project completion was BPM Group's Collins and Queen which provides an additional 116 apartments for the strip. Over recent years Keilor Road alone has seen seen seven substantial apartment developments completed, with the likes of Amne, Essque, Erantis, Horizon, Mink and 386-388 Keilor Road joining Collins and Queen in pumping 520 additional dwellings into the area.

Recently completed Mount Alexander Road apartments total 240 dwellings.

The influx of apartment developments through Keilor Road and Mount Alexander Road has also served to alter the streetscape with increased retail and commercial tenancies replacing what were previously for the most inactive street frontages.


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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 12:00
When a site spans 19,280 square metres, it becomes a 'district'. That's the case according to the development team behind the Jam Factory's pending overhaul. Reporting on the project to date has focused on the close to 60,000 square metres of new commercial space that is earmarked for the site, but more importantly from a layperson's perspective is the extensive new public realm that is planned as part of the development.

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.