Melbourne developer Caydon's plans to turn the historic Nylex Clock site overlooking the Yarra into a $1 billion mixed-use development is gathering momentum after its reworked stage one plans got the nod from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
VCAT granted a permit for stage one of Caydon's Malt District project, setting aside a decision made by the site's responsible authority, the City of Yarra, according to The Australian Financial Review.
Caydon must now await the outcome of its appeal against a Heritage Victoria decision to block its plans to demolish some of the buildings on the site in order to proceed with the project.
Stage one includes 225 apartments and a supermarket. In March, VCAT told Caydon to reduce its plans for the site. The reductions include less one bedroom apartments and reducing the number of floors down to 14.
The Nylex clock that for generations has stood watch over inner east Richmond, Cremorne and South Yarra will be restored to full working order as the centre piece of an ambitious new residential, commercial and tourism destination for Melbourne.
Caydon has owned the Harcourt Parade parcel of the site since 2008 and acquired the remaining Gough Street parcel in 2004.
The 1.4 hectare precinct will be known as the Malt District in a nod to its former use as a storage facility for malt used in brewing beer, and as the historical home of the old Cremorne Brewery.
Caydon has been working closely with architects Fender Katsalidis, landscape designers Oculus, and other experts to refine its vision for the site, which includes celebrating the precinct’s association with beer brewing and malt storage through retention of historical structures – including some of the concrete silos – and restoring the Nylex clock to permanent operation.
This has included consultations with heritage experts Lovell Chen, City of Yarra planning officials, Parks Victoria and other key stakeholders, to achieve a development outcome that unlocks the site’s potential whilst respecting its past.
“The opportunity to create a residential, commercial and tourism hub in an area that has such a fantastic historical pedigree is rare for any developer, and our plans will establish a new precinct where people will be excited and proud to live, work and visit,” said Caydon Principal Joe Russo.
“This project is about so much more than building somewhere for people to live. It’s about creating a vibrant destination where small businesses can make a start, artisans can display their craft, and where local and international tourists can visit for a drink or a meal.
“That’s why our vision incorporates opportunities for people to establish ventures that complement the site’s unique place in Melbourne’s history – for example a craft brewery catering to locals and tourists,” Mr Russo said.
Creating direct linkages to the adjacent Yarra River was a key consideration for Caydon.
“Melburnians are embracing the Yarra frontage as a place to socialise, exercise and even commute, as people shun cars to get in and out of the city,” Mr Russo said.
“With expectations many residents in the new Malt District will work in town, it was important that we capitalise on bicycle and pedestrian networks along the Yarra and adjacent parks.
“There is also the potential for ferry services in and out of the city, and the site’s proximity to the Yarra makes this a viable possibility. It’s easy to imagine a future where Malt District residents commute into town on a regular ferry service, as happens in other riverfront cities around the world.”
The total project is expected to cost around $1 billion, with more than 500 jobs to be created during construction.
Initial plans included up to 1000 apartments and serviced apartments, and 6000 square meters of retail and commercial space including bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues. Buildings would range from 3 to 21 levels.
Caydon is one of Melbourne's leading property developers, 100% owned by Joe Russo.
The Caydon team shares the intention that every development creates a connection with the community and surrounding environment. The company designs places, a concept separate from constructing buildings. This focus on place defines the vision for every project and incorporates the desire to make a lasting, positive impact on the health, happiness and well-being of the people who live and work within it and around it.