Abandoned Mental Hospital Gets $500 Million Facelift


Work is continuing on a $500 million transformation of an abandoned psychiatric hospital in Bundoora in Melbourne's north.

Designed by ClareHopkinsClarke (CHC), Polaris 3083 is is a mixed use development set to revitalise the former Larundel Psychiatric Hospital, a site that has been uninhabited since closing in the late 1990s.

For years, the neglected site has been a stomping ground for trespassing urban explorers.

ClarkeHopkinsClarke partner Robert Goodliffe said the historic site had a unique sense of character that was being reimagined in an "exciting new context".

Designed with the intention of preserving the heritage value of the former hospital, Polaris will retain five of Larundel’s original red brick buildings.

Four of the buildings will be repurposed as apartments, with the remaining building readapted as a community centre.

“Preserving the heritage buildings and existing trees has been important for lending a sense of an established neighbourhood to what is essentially a brand new development,” Mr Goodliffe said.

Stage 1 opened last year, comprising 64 apartments over five buildings, with retail, cafes and restaurants on the ground floor.

A full line Woolworths supermarket and Dan Murphys store complete the current retail offering.

Further expansion to complete the village centre is currently underway with additional retail, allied medical and apartments currently under construction or due for commencement shortly.

Childcare and recreational facilities will complete the core development.

Upon completion, Polaris 3083 will feature up to 1,100 townhouses and apartments.

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