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Tract Consultants

Toorak Park delivers where it matters most

Toorak Park is the outcome of a decade of development overtones for an expansive and formerly underutilised site abutting Toorak Station. Few projects across Melbourne are larger in terms of site size, with developer Lendlease over recent months applying the finishing touches to 446 apartments and 18 townhouses across a host of buildings. What makes Toorak Park particularly impressive though is the extensive greenery and public permeability...

VincentCare's Flemington Road project a boost for homeless housing

St Vincent de Paul Society's VincentCare has proposed a major inner city development that will go some way to meeting the needs of inner city Melbourne's most disadvantaged individuals. The care provider has proposed a large-scale redevelopment of 179-191 Flemington Road, located opposite Melbourne's hospitals precinct. Under the plan, VincentCare's rebuilt facility would lead to expanded crisis accommodation capacity and a relocation of its...

‘Getting it Done’ …with a surplus

Pragmatically themed and titled ‘Getting it Done’, Tract has put on its reading glasses to investigate what the Victorian Budget 2016/17 seeks to ‘get done’ for city building and regional development. Set against a discourse of job creation and infrastructure building, big spends include infrastructure investments in the Metropolitan rail network and the Western Distributor Tunnel while smaller but vital reforms include shifting the planning...
A render of a proposed residential apartment building in the suburb of Box Hill

H & F Property enter Box Hill with 12-14 Nelson Road

Emerging local developer H & F Property is seeking a slice of Box Hill's booming apartment market with a current planning application for a substantial residential building. Submission of the planning application follows H & F Property's earlier pursuit of rezoning for the relevant site which was initially tagged as Commercial 2. Now consistent with the Box Hill Activity Centre Transit City Structure Plan, H & F Property are chasing...

Fishermans Bend: how to avoid another Docklands

It seems that nobody is happy about Fishermans Bend. My first impression was that the design guidelines were quite good, but the public response has been scathing since the Strategic Framework Plan was released in late July. The usual old chestnuts of building height and transport provision dominate mainstream coverage of Australia’s biggest urban renewal project, just like they do whenever somebody tries to build above two storeys in suburbia...

Will free parking save Bridge Road?

Working at Tract Consultants near Bridge Road in Richmond gives me a front-row seat on the city's sad trend of high-street decline. Every day, I watch one of the city's key retail strips slowly lose tenants. Walking to get my lunch, I often pass three or four empty shops in a row - and the ones that are still open are having closing-down sales. My guess is that 30% of the shops are vacant. This decline has been going on for a while, but...

Could money one day grow on rooftop trees?

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time staring at blank brick walls. Whenever I’m in Melbourne, I find myself doing this, and the question that always springs to mind is the same: “Why is nothing growing on these walls?” In a city that’s generally quite efficient at filling empty spaces, the uncounted hectares of unutilised vertical space stay largely barren, year after year. This is despite an abundance of ways to cultivate vegetation...
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Development & Planning

Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 00:00
The City of Melbourne earlier this week agreed to provide conditional support for MAB Corporation's NewQuay West Development Plan via its Future Melbourne (Planning) Committee. The revised development plan prepared by DKO Architecture and Aspect Studios was driven by the development of the Ron Barassi Senior Park which necessitated a revisiting of the precinct layout and urban structure.

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.

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Transport & Design

Friday, November 24, 2017 - 00:00
Leslie A. Martin , University of Melbourne and Sam Thornton , University of Melbourne Road congestion in large Australian cities is estimated to cost more than A$16 billion a year . Economists have long argued the best way to improve traffic flow is to charge drivers for their contribution to road congestion.

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.