Dutch Architects OMA Spearhead Sunbury Town Centre


International architects OMA have been engaged to develop a $100-million town centre in Victoria’s Sunbury South.

It is the second partnership between design-led retail developer Sandhurst Retail and Logistics (SRL) and the Dutch architecture firm, which recently opened an Australian office.

Plans for SRL’s $100m Sunbury South town centre have been lodged with the City of Hume to expand its $1-billion pipeline of projects in Melbourne’s growth corridors.

The proposed development would “redefine what a town centre could be”, according to OMA director Paul Jones.

Jones said the team had focused on urban integration, activation and a diversity of uses, while incorporating permeability, transparency and connectivity to enhance user experience.

“We’re using good urban principles and planning strategies to bring urban design, architecture and landscape together to deliver a completely different type of outcome—I don’t think there is anything like it,” Jones said.

The first stage of the Sunbury South development would include a national full-line supermarket and discount department store, commercial and retail spaces, dining and outdoor amenities including green space, seating, and undercover areas.

▲ Sandhurst Retail and Logistics has appointed OMA architects to design its new $100-million Sunbury town centre.
▲ Sandhurst Retail and Logistics has appointed OMA architects to design its new $100-million Sunbury town centre.

The population of Sunbury is forecast to double in the next 20 years, from 42,494 residents to 86,640 in 2041.

SRL managing director Vivek Subramanian said the regional population boom had cemented demand for high-quality retail assets.

Subramanian said lodging the plans had been an important step in the ongoing investment in Sunbury.

“We have strong relationships with Hume, existing Sunbury residents and the residential developers delivering the growth to this new area,” he said.

“We are looking forward to engaging with these key stakeholders in the delivery of this long-term vision.”

Mayor of Hume Joseph Haweil said he welcomed the contribution of a community-focused town centre to the growing locale of Sunbury.

“I think the centre will become a social space that facilitates community and economic growth, that the residents of Sunbury will benefit from for years to come,” Haweil said.

There is still strong appetite for greenfield developments in Melbourne’s growth corridors, according to Oliver Hume’s September data.

While investors have moved into the market, owner-occupiers still made up two-thirds of the sales in September.

Oliver Hume’s project marketing chief executive Julian Coppini said there was little evidence of any impact from recent announcements of tighter lending restrictions from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

“Although the impact on the market is likely to be moderate, at least over the short term, APRA’s initial efforts in slowing the property market may not be the last,” Coppini said.

“APRA could further increase serviceability requirements or limit lending on high debt-to-income ratios.”

Melbourne’s median lot price is now $331,000, and September marked the third consecutive month for growth in buyer enquiry figures.

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