Richmond's Doonside Precinct emerges as a new apartment hub

Once a stronghold for various industries, Richmond continues to evolve as a highly sought-after inner city apartment hub. While areas north and west of the Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre have seen intense levels of apartment development, the tract of land directly south of Victoria Gardens and east of Burnley Street is now set to continue the trend.

Doonside Precinct has risen to prominence with a string of apartment developments poised to make their mark.

In recent times the initial planning toing and froing in order to realise the Doonside precinct have been in full swing. Noteworthy is a recent report delivered by Urbis arguing that proposed amendment to the Yarra Planning Scheme seeking to apply a Heritage Overlay to parts of Doonside Precinct would not provide a net benefit to the community.

Regardless a handful of apartment developments are emerging, creating the first wave projects which will seek to call Doonside home.

Supply Co.

Supply Co. Image courtesy Forza Capital

First out of the gates is Forza Capital's Supply Co. which references the site's former use. At sales is a Peddle Thorp-designed 11 level apartment building with 140 apartments included.

The site's history has not been lost upon the design team with the exterior maintaining a facade of concrete, glass and mesh privacy screens. The industrial-inspired exterior is balanced out by interiors which have been described as "Sleek, sophisticated and stylishly functional, with the warm, light tones that contrast with bright metal and natural wood."

A piece of history retained and integrated

At ground level a cafe has been incorporated, as will be the existing facade which will frame the active space.

Burnley Terrace

Cera Stribley's take on a new Richmond landmark

Architecture firm Cera Stribley recently took the wraps off a concept design for a land parcel abutting Victoria Gardens. Selling agents for the adjoining 77 Burnley Street site have noted Salta Properties as the developer behind Burnley Terrace which is addressed 53-65 Burnley Street.

Producing a concept outlining what could be possible for the sizeable development site, the resultant 20 level tower could carry as many as 411 apartments with 488 basement car parks and 5,870sqm of retail included.

The Burnley Terrace development presents a unique architectural opportunity as various constraints on the site such as its irregularity in shape and planning form controls encourage a bespoke and distinctive design outcome.

As the proposal gets higher, there is a requirement to set the building back to overcome overshadowing controls. The proposal celebrates the concept of ‘terracing’ by defining each layer with contrasting materiality.

The architecture is generally sympathetic to the area and the scale and building forms located to the main street interfaces are comparative to other surrounding buildings. Taller buildings are located to the middle to rear of the immediate precinct where they minimize the amenity impacts to the area.

Cera Stribley
Block forming a possible outcome. Image courtesy Cera Stribley

Upcoming projects

An all but completed display suite has appeared at 1-9 Doonside Street, most likely for the pending release of 36-44 Doonside Street.

With planning approval given during 2012, the development is shaping as the next apartment release within the budding precinct. In its initial guise the multi-building development catered for in excess of 200 dwellings and held multiple retail spaces within the Rothelowman-designed scheme.

Given the lengthy time between approval and what is shaping as a likely sales launch in the near term, the project may have changed in its appearance.

Initial designs for 36-44 Doonside Street and 77 Burnley Street

Changing in a different fashion is 77 Burnley Street which until recently was in the hands of St Kilda Road-based developer Pirovich. With its planning application review withdrawn during late January, the site has recently been moved on with TCI Property handling the sale.

Designed by SJB Architects, the ten level building would have featured 63 apartments split between 48 single and 15 dual bedroom dwellings. Using the neighbouring Burnley Terrace development as a template, the new proprietors may seek to add additional levels to any future planning application for their newly acquired development site.

Also waiting in the wings is Salta Properties' 25-35 River Boulevard which has the ability to deliver near on 500 new dwellings.

Factoring in the abundance of large low-rise sites both within and surrounding Doonside Precinct, the area looks capable of churning out apartment projects for many years to come.


Melbourne_Fragments's picture

How is the Urbis report 'noteworthy'? Its a submission by a biased non heritage expert worried that his company might make slightly less profit if they are forced to include a few token heritage facades in their developments and keep a skerrik of the areas history alive

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Adam Ford's picture

The Urbis report is offensive in the extent to which it trowels on self interest.

And it's entire thesis is that a heritage listing would unecessarily constrain development in the area, and that's COMPLETELY unsupported by any of the documentation.

A heritage overlay, particularly as gets applied to former industrial sites that are designated development zones, DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANNOT DEVELOP THE SITE.

In most of these cases a heritage overlay is going to recommend nothing more than retention of the facade within the development, precisely a la Supply and Co. above. I'm willing to bet Supply and Co is going to deliver perfectly adequate returns to its financiers.

So, heritage incompatible with a designated development zone? Only if the developer's hopeless.

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Bilby's picture

A Heritage Overlay is precisely that - an overlay. Just like an Environmental Audit Overlay places controls on developers, requiring that certain reporting and remediation outcomes are achieved before a development takes place, so too, a Heritage Overlay requires assessment and response to valuable heritage aspects of a site in any development. Does an Environmental Audit Overlay prevent residential or commercial development? No. Does a Heritage Overlay? No. Urbis need to get off their self-interested, condescending high horse right about now. Who gets to decide whether a community's heritage is of "net benefit" to the people it belongs to? ... The community, via its elected representatives and statutory mechanisms, perhaps? God forbid.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

Via Jo Harrison on UM's LinkedIN page:

"36-44 Doonside just received an amended permit for a CHT scheme"

We'll update the project database record (visible above, credited to Rothe) when more info becomes available.

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