Moonee Valley Racing Club has unveiled plans for its $2 billion residential masterplan in Melbourne’s north.
The 40-hectare race course is set to be redeveloped into an urban village — Moonee Valley Park — delivering 2,000 new dwellings comprising townhouses and apartments, as well as cafes, shops and leisure areas that will be integrated with green spaces.
The mixed-use project will consist of retail and entertainment facilities, commercial office space and community and wellbeing spaces as well as the construction of a new grandstand and a new extended track surface.
The masterplan is a joint venture between Melbourne-based developer Hamton Property Group, superannuation fund Hostplus and Moonee Valley Racing Club, which has a site-specific planning framework in place already.
Private developer Hamton, known for specialising in high-end residential and mixed-use projects in the inner and middle-ring suburbs, has completed and current projects totalling a combined value of $3.5 billion.
Joint venture partner, industry superannuation fund Hostplus — a Melbourne-based $44 billion fund for hospitality workers — currently manages retirement savings for the MVRC employees and around 8,600 City of Moonee Valley residents.
Moonee Valley Racing Club chairman Don Casboult said the masterplan — 10 years in the making — would secure the 135-year-old racecourse’s future.
“With a pioneering history dating back to 1883, Moonee Valley Racing Club is one of the greatest race clubs in the world and a vital part of the Moonee Ponds community.”
“The vision for Moonee Valley Park will realise our racing vision that preserves and propels the Club forward for centuries to come.
The racing club is home to the Cox Plate, an event which will need to be moved temporarily to another racecourse while the new grandstand is built, which will eventually provide “seven-day and seven-night facilities”.
It is understood that funds generated from the land sale — 9 hectares of which will be dedicated to residential — would fund the eventual track reconfiguration and new grandstand construction.
Construction of a new grandstand will start after the 2024 Cox Plate, and take about two years to complete.
“With Victoria’s population set to grow from six million today to over 10 million people in the next 30 years we believe strongly that our future population will highly value proximity to nature and botanical open space,” Hamton Property Group executive chairman Paul Hameister said.
“With this in mind, we designed a grand botanical park first and then the buildings followed – the result is a neighbourhood within a park.”
About half of the 40 hectare site will be dedicated to pedestrian-friendly botanical parkland with many of the apartments offering unobstructed views of the city skyline over the revamped racetrack.
“The integrity of this vision is only possible to maintain into the future because of the ongoing presence on the site of the Racing Club with its in-house groundskeeping and event management expertise,” Hameister said.
“As a developer, it is rare to have such a committed site custodian into the future.”