The current state of play within Arden-Macaulay

Yesterday's release of the Melbourne Metro Rail project business case has prompted us to take a closer look at Arden-Macaulay and with the ground work laid during 2012 paving the way for intensive urban renewal within the area, the urban regeneration precinct which consumes a fair amount of North Melbourne is beginning to see a slow yet steady stream of higher density residential development.

The Arden-Macaulay structure plan encapsulated strategies and actions relating to land use including the delivery of new and improved open spaces and attractive and safe streetscapes. It also contains actions relating to transport, community infrastructure and sustainable infrastructure.

Arden-Macaulay offers a key opportunity to provide for sustainable growth that can achieve positive community outcomes. The Arden-Macaulay Structure Plan provides a long term vision and strategy to sustainably manage the renewal of the area.

City of Melbourne
MCC's precinct map with superimposed markers indicating current development

With the structure plan as a backdrop and a number of large projects such as Accord Property Group's 88 Laurens and HWD Australia's Gramercy Parks yet to be revealed, Arden-Macaulay's current development activity is essentially limited to two pockets. The precinct's southern tip within West Melbourne sees Journal and Wallace under construction while Cbus Property's Volaire has just commenced its sales campaign.

It is the heart of the renewal zone within North Melbourne that throws up a surprise. With such a large area set aside for renewal it is perhaps unexpected that development within North Melbourne is limited to a small pocket principally surrounding the corner of Haines Street and Shiel Street with the exception being 101-117 Canning Street.

The Victorian Government and Local Government identified Arden-Macaulay Precinct as a key urban renewal site that could catalyse a new CBD-fringe mixed-use office precinct with a potential to accommodate 25,000 residents and in excess of 43,000 jobs.

Critically, the area is in close proximity to existing CBD employment and markets, particularly in Parkville, promoting the benefits of agglomeration essential to knowledge-based industries. The core Arden Precinct, in the southern part of the site, is particularly well suited to accommodating a major employment hub, with a large parcel of government-owned land.

Without a significant expansion to public transport access, making Arden accessible to broader metropolitan labour catchments, the area could still offer the opportunity for significant residential development, but the opportunity to support employment growth would be lost

Melbourne Metro Rail project business case, pages 59 and 60

Below is an overview of the current state of play for the crop of North Melbourne projects found within Arden-Macaulay:

Arden Gardens

Arden Gardens. Image courtesy CBD Development Group

CBD Development Group look set to launch this sizeable project located at 101-117 Canning Street, with site demolition underway. Offloaded by Woolworths during 2014, the pending development will feature roughly 300 apartments and 600 car spaces atop extensive ground floor retail offerings.

Woolworths have reserved 4,350sqm on a 20 year lease with another 1,500sqm of retail allowable within the Buchan Group-designed project.

3 Shiel Street

Knight Frank's render associated with the sales campaign

Spec Property have chosen to sell their permitted site with Knight Frank handling the sales campaign. Set over 1,300sqm and holding 38 metres of street frontage the scheme consists of 21 single bedroom apartments, 42 double and 2 triple bedroom dwellings.

Rising up to 9 levels to the rear of the site, 3 Shiel Street is notionally ready to go should the site be bought by a developer with intentions to deliver the project immediately.

1 Shiel Street, North Melbourne

1 Shiel Street under construction

MAVGroup has begun construction on this residential development without the usual pre-sales campaign. The Fender Katsalidis-designed project is expected to house 34 apartments over six levels upon completion.

With a site area of 674sqm, the project had initially sought to be taller but was brought to its current level as the planning process transpired.

104 Haines Street

REVEL's Haines Street project

The only project at marketing, Revel Development Group's residential pursuit dubbed Reflections holds 143 dwellings over 13 levels. The work of Plus Architecture, Reflections which takes its name from the highly reflective facade which is set to adorn the buildings lower levels.

At 143 dwellings it is second to Arden Gardens in terms of approved apartment numbers for a given project.

114-116 Haines Street

114-116 Haines Street. Image courtesy Kyriacou Architects

Melbourne Acquisitions has this Friday pencilled in for an onsite auction of 114-116 Haines Street. Approval is in place for 27 apartments over 10 levels plus basement capacity for 18 vehicles.

The 476sqm plot is sandwiched in between 104 Haines Street and the current planning application at 36-58 Macaulay Road below.

36-58 Macaulay Road

Artisan Architects' impression of 36-58 Macaulay Road

The latest entrant into the precinct is a scheme by Artisan Architects for Platinum Taxis Holdings Pty Ltd which calls for dual residential buildings abutting 114-116 Haines Street. Addressed 36-58 Macaulay Road, the project would see 177 apartments created within 10 and 13 storey buildings.

According to Artisan Architects the project includes the retention and refurbishment of the former Melbourne Omnibus Company Stables and its surrounding walls, a new community hall and a new public space.

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