Plans for a transformative 1000-dwelling residential precinct have been given the green light for one of Melbourne’s largest infill development sites—but it will cater for just 15 per cent of the future housing needs of the city’s bayside area.
Sunkin Property Group’s $500-million redevelopment of the former CSIRO site at Highett will comprise 14 residential buildings ranging from two to seven storeys and surrounded by parkland.
Its urban renewal plan has been approved by the Bayside City Council despite raising concerns from local residents over its scale, density and increased traffic.
Sunkin Property Group development general manager Lloyd Collins said the project would have “a significant positive impact on the local economy in terms of job opportunities and supporting local businesses”.
Under the plan, 4ha of the site will become publicly accessible parkland, including a conservation reserve.
"We’re opening up a site that has been cut off from the wider community for a number of years," Collins said.
“Throughout the development application process, we really listened to the community and as a result, we received a number of suggestions and great ideas that were included in our proposed amendments to the development plan approval.”
“One of these ideas was increasing the biodiversity across the entire site with additional indigenous planting that attracts native birds back to the area.”
Collins also said forecasts from development consultants Urbis indicated Melbourne’s bayside area would require 7000 new dwellings over the next 10 years.
“This development will only be accommodating about 15 per cent of that demand,” he said.
“We are seeing pent-up demand within the bayside area and believe our park setting and connection to the station and vibrant town centre retail will be highly attractive to local buyers.”
The 9.3ha site was acquired by the developer for $90 million last year after a clean-up of the former research facility.
Collins said its proximity to public transport and Monash University’s Caulfield campus also offered the opportunity to integrate build-to-rent, student accommodation and retirement living.
The Clarke Hopkins Clarke-designed development includes a range of dwelling typologies to improve housing diversity in the area.
A new public library is also proposed on site as well as a maternal and child health centre.
Sunkin Property Group—an arm of the family-owned and internationally-backed Melbourne-based Wolf Group—is currently completing a $50-million high-end residential project comprising 17 apartments and three penthouses at nearby Brighton.