Troubled Parkville Centre’s Days Numbered As Developers Circle

Melbourne’s developers could soon have their hands on prime development land just north of Melbourne Zoo as the State Government looks to offload the Parkville youth jail which has been at the centre of recent unrest and riots.

Earlier this month the Herald Sun reported that medium-rise apartment blocks of more than 10 storeys could be built in a new mini suburb.

It has been speculated that the site could fetch up to $300million subject to zone changing. This is around three times more than earlier estimates for the 95,000sq m site.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas told ABC 774 that a contract had not yet been signed, but that the government was currently in a “deliberative phase”.

“I don’t think there’s much argument Parkville has outlived its useful life,” he said on radio.

“Absolutely at some point, the minister (Jenny Mikakos) has made it clear the Parkville site is no longer fit for purpose and certainly from our perspective, it won’t continue to be a juvenile detention centre.”

The government is looking at alternative sites and facilities including a possible new high-security youth jail in Werribee South.

A review by the Victorian Ombudsman had slammed Victoria’s youth justice system and recommended closing Parkville.

The Herald Sun understood that the original estimate proceeds from the sale could fund half the cost of a larger new youth facility.

Public and affordable housing advocates have called on the government to transform the Parkville site into community housing to address the affordable housing crisis in Victoria.

Main image illustration picture copyright: saiyood / 123RF Stock Photo