Development bids have flooded in from a number of health providers interested in delivering a new health precinct in North Melbourne.
The seven-hectare "health, wellness and knowledge" precinct is proposed within the developer Riverlee's $1.2 billion New Epping mixed-use project and to be located immediately adjacent to the existing public Northern Health hospital.
New Epping’s health precinct is proposed to include a 300-bed private hospital, 200-place childcare centre, 200 aged care beds, medical research facilities, early childhood development centre, community and social services and medical consulting suites.
Ernst & Young Partner and Riverlee advisor Marcus Willison said the proposed blueprint has offered significant appeal to the shortlisted operators.
“The delivery of this integrated health precinct for Melbourne’s northern growth corridor will be imperative to meeting the growing demand in the region,” Willison said.
“By 2030, the population of the northern catchment is expected to grow by 89% so this precinct will provide some of the vital services and infrastructure that will cater for this growth and lessen pressure on existing facilities which are currently at capacity.”
Positioned in a prime infill location, immediately adjacent to the existing Northern Hospital and surrounded by Pacific Epping Shopping Centre, Northpoint Enterprise Park, Epping Medical Centre and other key local services, the site represents one of the most strategically sound locations to deliver a natural extension of the surrounding mixed-use environments while delivering a host of new and vital infrastructure to support the rapidly growing needs of the booming northern corridor.
The health precinct is proposed to form a key component of Riverlee’s master-planned mixed-use community "New Epping", a 51-hectare site consisting of 2,000 new homes, 80,000 square metres of commercial space, and over 11 hectares of greenspace and recreational zones, bike and pedestrian paths throughout, including rehabilitated wetlands and native vegetation.
The master-plan recently received City of Whittlesea’s approval to commence a formal planning scheme amendment process and is currently undergoing an extensive community consultation period and detailed site investigations in order to create a comprehensive development plan.
Riverlee will now shortlist three top-tier health providers and commence a formal request for proposal process with the preferred shortlisted proponents to develop final proposals for the site in the coming weeks.
The successful health provider is expected to be announced towards the end of 2017.