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How can we better utilise government owned land?

Last Wednesday a Victorian Planning and Environment Law Association (VPELA) seminar on Government land, had presenters from both State (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and VicTrack) and Local (City of Banyule) Government departments. Part of the evening focused on the introduction in 2016 of the Fast Track Government Land Service, which is an initiative that charges DELWP with the responsibility of rezoning disused...

How will the 50% foreign ownership limit affect developers?

As well as restricting supply to an already full rental market, the 50% foreign ownership restriction removes some of the competitive advantages overseas developers had over local developers. Prior to this change coming into effect, overseas developers had a competitive advantage as they had no overseas sales limits whatsoever. Overseas developers using overseas banks could, if they so desired, have 100 per cent foreign sales, with 100 per cent...

Value capture: how do we stop Value Escape?

There seems to be almost unanimous and vigorous agreement that the pursuit of value capture is a worthwhile initiative in helping us to augment scarce infrastructure funding. However, we seem to be engrossed in writing thought leadership, debating policy and gathering evidence rather than getting on with implementation. At a time when we are moving forward with massive city building infrastructure projects procrastination is an exercise in value...

Better Apartments at the Australian Smart Skyscraper Summit 2017

In light of the recent release of the Victorian State Government’s Better Apartments Design Standards, architects, designers, builders and the industry as a whole will look to reconfigure apartment design, in order to conform to new government regulations. Among changes to standards, the guidelines dictate that apartments will have to provide for daylight access, outlook and privacy through building setbacks. A functional layout will see the...

Lachlan Thompson discusses 525 High Street's success

Developer Goldfields, is celebrating the sell-out success of its Prahran East project, 525 High Street which has exceeded a residential value of $45 million in just a matter of weeks, after initially achieving 50% sales in just over a week. Covered on Urban Melbourne last year , the 7-storey building designed by JCB Architects and featuring 46 boutique residences has proven particularly popular with a mix of downsizers, empty-nesters, and...

Property industry leaders reflect upon 2016 and outline expectations for 2017

After a year where many observers predicted a many great outcomes, particular regarding Melbourne's apartment market, leading sales agent Marshall White Projects posed a question to some of the property industry's leading figures; “where to from here?”. Looking to the year ahead, the below offer their insights into the market, reflections on the months that have led up to this point and commentary on what we can expect from 2017 Marshall White...

Optimised traffic in high-rise through intelligent vertical transportation

As high-rise buildings continue to be designed at taller heights than ever before, skyscraper design must grapple with the efficiency, safety and sustainability of vertical transport systems. To address these challenges, new technologies are emerging and redefining the tall tower construction landscape with improved state-of-the-art vertical transportation solutions. Vertical transportation technologies present a major revolutionising force in...

Things to look out for in 2017

As we approach mid-February and the Christmas break begins to feel like a distant memory, it’s time to start thinking about what 2017 has in store for the planning world. There’s plenty in the pipeline to get our heads around so to help you keep up to date here’s a summary of just a few of the things to look out for. BETTER APARTMENT DESIGN STANDARDS (BADS) The highly anticipated BADS were released in their entirety in December 2017 (read our...

Up not out: apartment living is not a compromise

There have been a number of regulatory and policy changes of late affecting the future of development in Victoria. After extensive community consultation, Infrastructure Victoria has released its 30 Year Infrastructure Strategy. The strategy includes proposals to increase housing density to make better use of existing infrastructure and to address the mismatch between job and population growth (which, according to Infrastructure Victoria, is a...

Kerren McNamara: is it really all doom and gloom for settlements?

There has, of late, been no shortage of articles which appear to claim impending doom and gloom of Melbourne’s apartment and townhouse property market. The media asserts that the current state of the market will cast a shadow over or even flat-out prevent the successful settlement of Melbourne’s apartment developments. Reports are appearing daily. The RBA recently announced there is a risk of settlement failure because banks could value...

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Development & Planning

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 12:00
The swirl of development activity in Footscray has found another gear as new projects are submitted for approval, or are on the verge of beginning construction. Two separate planning applications have been advertised by Maribyrnong City Council; their subsequent addition to the Urban Melbourne Project Database has seen the overall number of apartment developments within Footscray in development swell to 40.

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.

Transport & Design

Friday, December 15, 2017 - 11:00
Infrastructure Victoria unveiled a new round of research into its larger programme of work dealing with managing transport demand. The authority contracted Arup and KPMG to produce the Melbourne Activity Based Model (MABM) and while it is new, it is considered fit for purpose in the strategic context.

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.