Outer suburban Berwick to get an urban development injection

City of Casey recently approved a multi-building development in Berwick which has paved the way for the municipality's first entry on the Urban Melbourne Project Database.

1-9 & 11-17 Lyall Road sits on a prime site at the bottom of Berwick hill, set back from the suburb's main intersection. The proponent is a developer using the entity name Sheradar Pty Ltd and the four building development has been designed by Baldasso Cortese.

The project will see a residential and serviced apartment building join an individual 'market hall' retail offering and two office buildings with ground floor retail. Baldasso Cortese's architectural design statement shows the project will seek to initiate the following:

Response to an urban edge condition by reinforcing a strong activated streetscape through reimagining the modern main street, along Lyall Road.

Creation of a new public urban space that provides a much needed meeting place for Berwick and an open, sheltered environment with filtered skylights providing ample daylight. Imagery and paving will reflect the strong agricultural past of the region.

Create a mixed-use development that includes retail, commercial, food and beverage, serviced apartments and residential uses

Create a Market Hall style food offering, book-ended by the larger scale commercial development, that provides a rich, high quality setting for dining and produce during both day and night.

Create a variety of engaging retail settings including main street shops, town square cafes and a lane-way type connections between the car park and Lyall Road

Design activated facades to the car park to provide security, over-looking and engagement

Design the built form on the corner of Lyall Road and Anne Street to respond to the Gateway setting and an important visual connection to the Princes Highway junction.

Baldasso Cortese
Overview of the project site. Image supplied

The five level gateway building located on the corner of Lyall Road and Anne Street will include 30 serviced apartments in a variety of configurations on the ground and first floors while the second, third and forth floors will include 20 residential apartments.

Most interestingly, of the 20 private apartments located on the three upper floors, there will be no 1 bedroom apartments with 2 and 3 bedroom apartments prevalent. Planning documents also suggest they will be large: 3 x 3 bedroom apartments will be on the top floor with a total of 370 square metres of space between them.

The project will include new retail premises for Berwick Town Centre

The majority of car parking for the project will be located below ground with the only surface spaces confined to the rear of the site and perhaps the best aspect of the project is the focus on an attractive, active ground level fronting Lyall Road.

Upon completion, Lyall Road will become a great case study in the history of suburban development in Melbourne. The Google Street View below shows the aspect when looking from the project site to the other side of the road.

Many may think of Berwick simply as a late 90's, early 2000's growth suburb, yet the region is diverse in its development patterns. From the old school grid layout lying to the east of Berwick's centre, to the horribly narrow cul-de-sac streets of the Timbara estate located just east of the Monash Freeway/Hallam bypass.

Despite the suburban (most definitely not rural!) view of Berwick, it is no stranger to modestly higher densities with townhouses present throughout the older areas. This project's approval signifies the evolution of Berwick's housing diversity.

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