Blue Whale Seeks To Replace Car Yard With Mixed-Use Development


Ivanhoe Apartments at 443 Upper Heidelberg Road may soon have a neighbour with the former Courtney and Patterson care dealership site on Bell Street subject to a large planning application.

The new Bell Street project was scaled back in line with Council regulations after initial developmental approval lodgement mid last year and now revised details have been revealed. Proponent Blue Whale Development Group Australia Pty Ltd is seeking approval for the development of the former car yard into a mixed-use project.

Initially submitted at 14 to 16 levels during mid 2015, the project which features aged care spaces, independent living apartments, GP and medical clinic spaces, a gymnasium, childcare centre, residential hotel and traditional apartments has been scaled back somewhat in line with Council's expectations.

With revised plans submitted during December headline details for the Hayball-designed project are as follows:

  • 8,924sqm site with 125m frontage to Bell Street
  • Four buildings of up to 12 levels
  • Aged care and independent living apartments
  • Traditional private apartments and hotel suites
  • GP clinic and Allied Health consulting suites
  • Various communal facilities
  • 132 car barking bays, 14 bicycle bays and storage spaces
  • Amenities include 901sqm gym, central courtyard garden, aged care day respite centre and café

In 2015, Fender Katsalidis-designed Ivanhoe Apartments gaining approval at 14 levels, becoming Banyule's tallest approved development to date.

According to Domain, Nelson Alexander Ivanhoe’s Jason Pettit said Ivanhoe Grammar School was a major drawcard for families hunting houses in Eaglemont and Ivanhoe East.

The suburbs were also characterised by large family homes; many double-storey, three and four-bedroom houses on big blocks of land, he said.

“It’s more of an owner-occupier demographic rather than a rental demographic, so you don’t have as many rental properties available as you would in some of the other neighbouring suburbs,” he said, according to Domain.

“And when it does come up, it tends to get snapped up fairly quickly, so you can be reasonably aggressive at pricing.”

Only 10 kilometres from the city, Ivanhoe is nestled in hills facing east to the Dandenongs and the Yarra Valley. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that median house prices have surged to $1.1 million while unit prices have gone back by 13 per cent to a $550,000 median.

Between the years of 2006-2011, Heidelberg Heights had an increase in ‘empty nesters and retirees’ as well as ‘older workers’ and ‘pre-retirees’. As such, it is likely that these populations will require aged care/independent living opportunities in the future, according to DA documents.

The news comes as The Leader reported that more than 100 Ivanhoe traders are demanding the return of some all-day parking zones as they face the daily battle of securing a car park.

A petition of 135 signatures, signed by Upper Heidelberg Road traders and their employees, calls for Banyule Council to restore the all-day parking zones behind the shopping strip, according to The Leader. 

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