The Taiwan-back Shayher Group has broken ground on its $1 billion retail and residential transformation of the historic Pentridge Prison in Coburg, Melbourne.
The developer begun work on the site’s 6000sq m retail hub, which will deliver a new supermarket and cinema complex when completed in 2019.
"The construction process will be sensitive to the existing heritage of the prison and undertaken in a manner that will ensure the heritage elements live on for many decades to come," Shayher spokesman Anthony Goh said.
Once complete, redevelopment project will be made up of residential and retail offerings, spanning the 6.7 hectares that used to make up the historical Victorian prison.
Built in the 1850s, the former Pentridge prison is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register with the requirement that its historical elements be restored.
Related reading: Chinese Developer Lodges Plans for Apartment Tower in Epping
Shayher Group has engaged construction workers, heritage restoration specialists and heritage architects for the site’s historical restoration, which includes the completion of the A-Division roof and the first of the six iconic guard towers, since it began restoration works in 2013. The company was estimated to spend about $2 million on restoration works prior to commencement of the main development.
TFE Hotels, a joint venture between the Toga Group and Singapore’s Far East Hospitality Holdings will operate a 120-room Adina Apartment Hotel at the prison site.
Shayher Group are currently working with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to redesign aspects of the proposed 19-storey tower for the hotel and apartments after it was knocked back by Moreland Council in July last year due to concerns about its height and advertising signage near the top of the tower.
Related reading: Melbourne Metro Set to Open Ahead of Schedule
Shayher Group said it would continue to work with VCAT to redesign the building.
The retail hub will also house a Palace Cinema, a supermarket and variety of specialist shops over two levels. It will also house three levels of car parking, semi-submerged due to the slope of the site.
The nearby A Division will be transformed into a creative hub, housing studio and office spaces and a black-box multi-purpose theatre.
The $1 billion development will be able to house up to 1800 apartments on 13 sites.