Clean up work on the site should commence from the middle of 2018. Given the site’s use as a former gasworks, there are extensive remediation works required before any construction can start. It is expected that the remediation works will take up to two years to complete.
The site is in North Fitzroy and is bounded by Alexandra Parade, Smith Street, Queens Parade and George Street. The total site area is 3.9076ha which includes the former Gasworks (3.0830ha) at 433 Smith Street and Yarra Council Depot (0.8246ha) at 111-139 Queens Parade.
Development Victoria is considering uses consistent with the City of Yarra’s Fitzroy North Gasworks Urban Design Framework 2008 (UDF). The site provides an opportunity to create a fresh and vibrant mixed-use development with new homes, shops, cafes and offices. New community facilities and public open space are also being investigated.
There is a Heritage Overlay on the former Fitzroy Gas Works Valve House which is located in the south-west corner of the site fronting Alexandra Parade and George Street.
The Porter prefabricated iron store located on the Council depot site is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register as being of State significance. Heritage issues will be considered as part of the due diligence process.
The land is owned by the Victorian Government and is Crown Land managed by the Victorian Government's Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF). Development Victoria, the state government’s property development and civic project management agency, is investigating the potential redevelopment of the site. Development Victoria intends to submit a rezoning application for the site in late 2017.
Development Victoria must consider renewal opportunities that achieve a balanced commercial outcome due to the significant cost involved in remediating the land.
Urban renewal on large underutilised sites such as this, located near existing transport, jobs, retail and community amenities such as parks and recreation facilities, is vital to ensuring the continued prosperity of our state and liveability of Melbourne. Inner-city urban renewal is also key to reducing pressure to expand our urban growth boundary.
Development Victoria is committed to including some open space on the site in consultation with the City of Yarra and the local community.
Development Victoria has worked with leading architects to develop a concept master plan that would transform the site into a mixed use development including housing, recreation, education and commercial use. The concept master plan incorporates and responds to community and stakeholder feedback captured throughout 2016. In addition to the feedback, technical and financial matters have been considered to ensure the proposal is feasible in the long run.
While the Urban Design Framework is not binding, Development Victoria has respected its principles in developing the draft master plan. Proposed heights and densities will ensure the development is appropriate for the surrounding area, while still meeting the objective of providing more inner-city housing and returning enough revenue to help fund the extensive remediation required on the site.
There will be open space with several public areas, landscaped gardens and squares created to encourage a sustainable and vibrant community. Development Victoria will work with the community to establish how these areas will be developed.
Development Victoria is currently working with the Department of Education and Training and the Victorian School Building Authority on needs for the site – there will be further engagment to come. At this stage, it is anticipated that a new school building could be included in the development that could accommodate around 650 secondary students.
The master plan provides for an indoor sports facility that would comprise six multi-purpose double storey sports courts – the first of its kind in Australia. The facility would also be home to a community space that would be developed in consultation the community and council. Development Victoria continues to work with project partners to look at how the centre might be delivered.
Development Victoria will work with established Housing Associations to deliver affordable and diversified housing options as part of the development. This might include the provision of housing for key workers, who are traditionally on lower incomes.
The site can accomodate a mix of heights. Along the site boundary on Queens Parade, buildings are proposed to range from six to 10 storeys while towards the middle of the site, further away from existing residential areas, between six and 14 storeys can be considered. The development is expected to provide around 1100 new dwellings with a mix of one, two and three bedroom homes.
All parking will be accommodated in a basement carpark.
The project will adopt a best practice approach to environmentally sustainable design and an appropriate framework will be applied to the development.
Development Victoria will work with City of Yarra to salvage any sections of the existing mural that might be reused elsewhere and will work with the community to build opportunities for public art into the development.
The valve house will be retained as a significant heritage element and an adaptive reuse outcome developed.
One of the benefits of inner city living is its proximity to public transport options like buses and trams. There will also be a strong focus on walking and cycling connections within the site to encourage active forms of transport.
The site will be accessible from both Alexandra Parade and Smith Street.
Feedback on the concept master plan is encouraged. The plans will also be publicly exhibited as part of the rezoning process. This is expected to occur early next year.
Following this phase of community engagement, Development Victoria will submit an application to rezone the site to allow a range of development options. This will occur in December 2017 with a formal exhibition phase in early 2018.