$7bn plan to revive North Melbourne’s Arden precinct unveiled

The Victorian Government is set to revitalise North Melbourne’s Arden precinct.

The Victorian government has unveiled a $7 billion plan to revive the Arden precinct in North Melbourne over 30 years, boosting housing supply around the new Arden metro station in an area currently in industrial use.

The 56ha between Macaulay Rd, Dryburgh St and the Upfield rail line will be developed into a new commercial and residential precinct to house up to 15,000 people, according to the state government’s draft plans released this week.

“Melbourne is growing rapidly. We’re expanding the city to meet demand for new housing and create new jobs,” Minister for Planning Richard Wynne says.

The precinct will be developed around the new underground railway station next to the Arden St football ground, only one stop away from Parkville, the CBD and Melbourne’s flourishing west.

“No other state government has a parcel of land held in public ownership on the doorstep of the city that’s got such opportunities for development with a major urban public transport link underneath it,” Wynne says.

The Victorian Government is set to revitalise North Melbourne's Arden precinct.

Parts of the Upfield railway line will be upgraded as part of the project.

The change to commercial and residential will see Arden developing “city centre-style living spaces in proximity to workplaces and services” and mixed housing types, the government says. The area, with potential for multi­storey apartments close to the CBD, will be the next Melbourne hot spot for developers.

“North Melbourne is a fantastic little pocket there with so many strong underlying fundamentals,” says Daniel Caspar, ­director of Revel Development Group, noting that future developments will benefit from upgraded infrastructure.

Revel is currently developing the Reflections Apartments on the edge of the Arden precinct, at 108 Haines St.

“We purchased the site there obviously because we knew the potential growth in the area,” Caspar says.

The Victorian Government is set to revitalise North Melbourne's Arden precinct.

An artist’s impression of North Melbourne’s proposed Arden precinct.

“We would certainly look to purchase more sites.”

Leonard Teplin, director of Marshall White Projects, says infrastructure investment in the area is “long overdue” and residential development should give North Melbourne a substantial facelift.

“Melbourne is now complete. It (North Melbourne) is the last bit of the puzzle that hasn’t come with infrastructure investment,” he says.

Teplin says the government should take a coordinated approach to the Arden redevelopment to create connection with pedestrians, taking lessons from previous urban renewals such as Docklands and Fishermans Bend.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.