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...

Development & Planning

Monday, February 26, 2018 - 00:00
Melbourne Airport owner Asia Pacific Airports Corporation (APAC) is facilitating a new hotel development on airport land that will see two new operators take up a combined 464 suites. In documents that are available for public viewing , APAC has identified Novotel and Ibis as likely operators of the 4-4.5-star hotels.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Friday, February 2, 2018 - 00:00
Gamuda Land is set to unveil an impressive collection of artwork for the soon to be completed 661 Chapel St development in South Yarra. Andy Dinan, Director of Mars Gallery which is renowned for exhibiting and promoting contemporary Australian artists, has been invited to specially curate the art collection throughout the development; included will be some of Australia’s most collected artists.

Visual Melbourne

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 12:00
The various spaces and elements which combine to form RMIT's New Academic Street (NAS) have progressively begun to open to students and visitors alike. I was recently fortunate enough to be part of an informal group tour through the completed spaces within NAS, led by Harrison and White which had a hand in the project.

Transport & Design

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 07:01
As part of its $88 million redevelopment, the State Library of Victoria (SLV) is providing Victorian apprentices, trainees and cadets with the opportunity to help with its transformation as part of its Vision 2020. The expansive project will create additional space for public use, restore and reopen the Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, and reinstate the historic Russell Street entrance.

Sustainability & Environment

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 12:00
One of the world’s more unique International design competitions - The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) 2018 - has come to Melbourne. Sponsored by the State Government of Victoria, the competition opened in early January but was officially launched on Saturday, Feb 10 th as part of the Sustainable Living Festival, Melbourne.