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Urban Industry

First home buyers and the property ladder

Climbing the property ladder – it is a term used to depict a consumer’s ability to enter the market on the first rung of affordability, climb the ladder over time through capital growth and finish at the top of the ladder in the ultimate luxurious and expensive property. Property is a long term game, slow and steady wins the race however with regards to the current economic climate, the property ladder for the majority of first home buyers is...

ROTHELOWMAN enters a new phase of expansion

The recent appointment of Stuart Marsland to the position of ROTHELOWMAN Principal coincides with a fresh wave of projects to be submitted to town planning over the coming months. Following eight years with the South Melbourne-based firm, Marsland has now assumed a pivotal role within the practice. In a climate of changing perceptions around higher density living, he has assisted ROTHELOWMAN in gaining a reputation for their expert delivery of...

Property Hotspots: Fashion or Affordability?

’The next property hot spot!’ is a real estate catchcry used to unveil a suburb in which there is a window of opportunity to purchase property prior to that suburb experiencing a rise in capital value. So where exactly is the next suburb ‘hot spot’ going to be? Do hot spots really exist and if they do what are the driving forces behind a particular suburb's growth in popularity? More often than not a hot spot is where an influx of population...

Better apartments for the future

By 2051 the number of households in greater Melbourne is projected to almost double from 1.59 million in 2011 to 3.11 million. We face a huge challenge to ensure there is sufficient housing to meet the needs of future households. Apartments are an important part of the housing mix. Since 2009, Melbourne has experienced successive years of record apartment approvals and development. For the first time there are more apartments being built than...

Profiling Planning & Property Partners

Urban Melbourne recently sat down for a chat with Mark Naughton (Founder and Managing Director) and Paul Little (Director) of Planning & Property Partners, in order to profile the practice and discuss their expanding workbook. The multi-disciplinary planning and environmental law firm recently came to prominence with the planning submission for a six tower scheme within Fishermans Bend on behalf a pool of owners. Located within Duckboard...

UDIA Forum - Apartment Design and Affordable Housing

Guidelines and standards for apartment design are being debated rigorously in the planning industry with the release in May by the State Government of the Better Apartments discussion paper. A panel of four industry experts engaged in a lively debate at a UDIA forum on July 9th. Christine Wyatt, Deputy Secretary of DELWP, introduced the topic and gave a brief overview of the process thus far. She encouraged everyone to get involved in the...

Three assumptions limiting Australian aged care design

The currently ingrained ‘business as usual’ approach to retirement living and residential aged care requires radical transformation to suit Australia’s ageing population. Approximately 12 per cent of Australia’s population are over the age of 65, a statistic that’s expected to increase to 16 per cent by 2030. The next generation of retirees - the baby boomers - are expected to be the wealthiest cohort of retirees the nation has seen yet. These...

Beller's 2015 Commercial Retail Research results are in

Beller Commercial recently completed their annual Commercial Retail Research, a matrix of Melbourne’s notable shopping strips which judges their performance over the last year. A unique initiative spearheaded by Beller Commercial Director, Fred Nucara, the Commercial Retail Research report is a detailed run down of the fluctuating fortunes of Melbourne’s famously fickle retail high streets and their performance. The information in the report is...

Victoria's Push for Better Apartments (Part 2)

Victoria is currently undergoing a substantial consultation process targeted at improving the design quality of apartments being built across the state. Part 1 of this post discussed the main aspects of the Better Apartments discussion paper released by the state government. Part 2 of this discussion will focus on why the state government should step in to guide the future development of apartments. Many commentators on this subject are fiercely...

Discussing apartment living with BKK's Simon Knott

Following on from last week's piece on Cirqua comes the second installment of Urban Melbourne's chat with BKK Director Simon Knott encompassing aspects of the practice's work, the lure of apartment living and the ever changing landscape of the apartment market. Laurence Dragomir: We touched on the focus being on the owner occupier market with relation to the Cirqua development, but have you found that coming to the fore in the types of multi-res...

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Development & Planning

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 00:00
Prominent builder Hickory Group has added a third Melbourne project that will utilise the Hickory Building System (HBS). A proponent of prefabricated construction methods, Hickory Group's latest HBS-driven project will be Brisbane outfit Blue Sky Funds' 42-50 La Trobe Street.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 00:00
On 2 January 2017, it was reported that several popular eateries and bars in Footscray had been vandalised, including the perennially successful 8 Bit Burgers on Droop Street, and Up In Smoke on Hopkins Street. 8 Bit had the warm new year's welcome gift of 14 smashed windows and the words “F**k off hipster scum” spray-painted on their entrance.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 - 17:00
Melbourne’s architectural landscape is a wonderful juxtaposition of modern and Victorian architecture. Although the CBD has been peppered with many skyscrapers, its historical structures have won Melbourne the title of “Australia’s most European city”.

Transport & Design

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 12:00
Timber mid-rise buildings are becoming the preferred choice for many stakeholders in Melbourne, due to a combination of factors, including cost-effectiveness, liveability, ease and efficiency of construction. Within the recent National Construction Code change, Deemed-To-Satisfy provisions allow mid-rise timber construction for buildings up to 25 metres “effective height” (typically, eight storeys).