Contractor Multiplex has completed Victoria Racing Club’s new $128 million club stand at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
The Bates Smart-designed stand represents the tenth grandstand to be built at Flemington since 1865.
The project was initially delayed after the Victoria Racing Club (VCR) attempted to sell two adjoining parcels of land for residential development to help fund the replacement of the heritage-listed grandstand.
The deal struck between the VRC and Greenland Group was undertaken without a public tender process or consultation with local councils.
Greenland terminated the $45 million contract with the Victoria Racing Club in 2016 due to delays in the club obtaining a rezoning approval subsequently delaying development of the new grandstand.
Construction of The Club Stand has now been completed by Multiplex in time for the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The grandstand boosts its capacity from 6,500 to more than 10,000 and features 90 precast petal-shaped panels each weighing up to 30 tonnes.
Bates Smart director of interior design Jeff Copolov said the stand is designed to celebrate the rich history and character of Flemington Racecourse.
Multiplex noted that it had to work around horses training at the racecourse and Flemington’s racing days during the 18-month construction period, which saw the workforce peak at 435 builders at the famous site.
VRC chairman Amanda Elliott said the Club is delighted to reach this significant milestone ahead of its hallmark events in the spring racing season.
“The completion of The Club Stand marks one of the most exciting times in the VRC’s history and we look forward to officially opening it to VRC Members and their guests in full for the first time on AAMI Victoria Derby Day,” Elliott said.
“We congratulate Multiplex on its success in bringing Bates Smart’s vision for The Club Stand to life.”
“The Club Stand is a statement venue that will change event experiences forever and become the setting for the next generation of racegoers to enjoy racing differently.”
Pace Development Group has recently lodged plans for a horseshoe-shaped 300-apartment residential development to neighbour the racecourse.