During a period of substantial growth in Melbourne’s west, developer Kataland has launched its visionary project Underbank, a 166 hectare master-planned community in Bacchus Marsh embodying next generation, economical housing design.
The $250 million dollar project will be located in Melbourne’s Western Growth Corridor, one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, which will eventually accommodate a population of 277,000 people and 164,000 jobs.
Tackling population growth and demand for housing is high on the agenda for the Moorabool Council, that last month launched its first draft of the Housing Bacchus Marsh to 2041 strategy. Located three kilometres west from Bacchus Marsh, Underbank will support this growth, becoming home to around 4,000 people in 1,500 houses, with its own town centre, parklands, plus community and recreational facilities.
Kataland Director Jason Yeap said that the development breaks away from traditional master-planned communities as a result of planning and design that celebrates and respects the landscape.
“The west is booming. Over the past year we’ve seen housing developments from Melton to Werribee sell out because of affordability – however apart from affordable land, many of these developments are located in the middle of nowhere and follow the traditional cookie cutter mould,” said Mr Yeap.
“Most master-planned communities look the same – they’re flat and featureless. When I first saw the Underbank site, I was struck by the rich landscape. There’s a natural bowl formation with a valley floor surrounded by hills, established trees, native shrubs and landscaped waterways.
“With Underbank, it was integral to preserve the site's existing natural assets, and instead of cutting into the land, we created new home designs that work with the sloping land, not against it.”
While buyers can select their own builder, Underbank will also offer future residents access to contemporary home designs by architect Louis Chiodo that set the benchmark in flexible, modular light-filled living environments.
Mr Yeap added that supporting the growing community in the charming town of Bacchus Marsh was vital.
“People aren’t just moving to Bacchus Marsh because of affordability – there’s a long string of prestigious schools like Bacchus Marsh Grammar, and it’s only 50km from Melbourne’s CBD.
“We have been working with council and the local community to future proof the region so that growth is sustainable and the bustling town remains liveable.”
Underbank will be maintaining and restoring the flora and historical significance of the former stud farm, which was once home to Australian legendary racehorse Phar Lap. It will pay homage to the site’s heritage by restoring the horse stables into a community hub for markets and activities.
Underbank will not just be an extension of the Bacchus Marsh township but will enrich the local community with amenities such as walking trails and bike paths through the parklands. There will also be several pocket parks dotted through the site with playgrounds, fitness stations, picnic shelters and BBQ facilities.
Infrastructure upgrades, including the Hallets Way upgrade and pedestrian links to Bacchus Marsh Road, will improve connectivity in-and-about Bacchus Marsh.
Construction on the Underbank sites has already commenced, and stage one has been released, with land starting at $129,000 for a 420 square metre block.