The first stage of Footscray’s new $600 million project, Victoria Square, is providing one of the last remaining opportunities to enter the popular inner ring suburbs at an affordable price.
Victoria Square's first tower is offering 61 square metre one-bedroom plus study apartments at $298,000 – well below Melbourne’s median price for a one bedroom unit, which according to CoreLogic currently sits at $330,000.
According to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, Melbourne’s median unit price rose to over $585,000 in the December 2016 Quarter. As prices shoot up in Melbourne’s north, south and east, attention is turning towards Melbourne’s western suburbs.
Footscray in particular has emerged as a highly desirable area to first home buyers and astute investors who are recognising the inherent opportunity in its location.
Urbis research stated Footscray has seen the lowest median unit price but the highest annual unit price growth over the last decade when compared with other suburbs in Melbourne’s inner ring such as Brunswick, Richmond, and Yarraville.
Growland CEO Ronald Chan, who is the developer behind Victoria Square, said as affordability becomes an increasingly pressing social issue, projects such as Victoria Square were a vital piece to solving the puzzle as they provide achievable price points for first time buyers.
“The key to addressing Melbourne’s affordability lies in high rises like Victoria Square – strong, modern communities are created through high density living,” Mr Chan said.
“It is vital that the next generation has access to quality homes, with considered, long lasting architecture, but at a price that is achievable in relation to today’s median household incomes.
“Young people also need to be able to live at a reasonable distance to where they work. Melbourne’s employment precinct has traditionally been concentrated to the CBD, meaning the inner ring suburbs are incredibly important to Melbourne’s future growth.”
Designed by Kavellaris Urban Design, Victoria Square's first tower will be home to a mix of one, two and three bedroom dwellings, with a curvilinear architectural language that reflects the cadence of the iconic Maribyrnong River.
Sweeping panoramic windows wrap around the dwellings, offering views of Melbourne’s cityscape, Flemington Racecourse and Port Phillip Bay from all the internal spaces.
The building embodies next generation design, with intelligent apartments that are created for long term living, with considerations of maximum natural ventilation and clever storage reflect that reflect forward thinking approach to design.
The open, flowing energy of interiors is furthered by the large sweeping panoramic windows, which continue from the living spaces to the bedrooms and through to the bathrooms. The continuity of the internal material palettes between the spaces communicates a coherent design and enhances the generous size of each apartment.
KUD Architect Billy Kavellaris said the core of their approach was to engage in conscientious design as a foundation, to deliver unique and intelligent architecture to meet the end user’s needs.
“Victoria Square presented the opportunity to design a truly unique precinct, adding significant value to the urban character of Footscray as it transforms into the future,” he said.
“While a project on this scale necessitates keeping the overall vision front of mind, it is the little considerations that will truly invite its residents to call it home – from the quality finishes to the open plan living, the custom joinery, and feature tiles.
“Each touchpoint provides an opportunity to connect with the living space.”
Victoria Square’s first tower of 240 apartments will be housed over 23 levels, sitting atop the precinct’s retail laneway and the heart of the development. The retail offering will be delivered in the first stage of the roll out and house over 3000 square metres of retail space including boutique hospitality and premium retail amenity.
Also delivered in the first stage will be Victoria Square’s communal amenities, including Australia’s first and only Olympic-sized aerial outdoor track, as well as a pool, gym, and cinema.
Victoria Square will also give residents the opportunity to entertain friends and family atop the 3000 square metre podium skypark with Melbourne’s cityscape as the backdrop.
The project is only 3.9km to Melbourne’s CBD, and a nine-minute train ride to Southern Cross Station, making it the perfect home for residents commuting to the city or surrounding suburbs.
Two bedroom and three bedroom residences start from $425,000 and $579,000 and 68 square metres and 86 square metres respectively.
According to the Australian Financial Review, Growland also set their sights on the strongly performing outer suburban land market, having paid more than $70 million for a site in the city's west.
The AFR said Growland's acquisition included a 62-hectare site at 1030 Dohertys Road, Tarneit, about 28 kilometres west of the Melbourne CBD within the new suburb of Tarneit North.
The site reportedly has the capacity for between 900 and 1000 lots with end value of around $240 million.