Glenvill positions YarraBend as Melbourne's premier amenities-driven development

Inner-city development opportunities the size of the Alphington Paper Mill site are not common occurrences. At 16.5 hectares the suburb-sized land parcel corners Heidelberg Road and the Chandler Highway, and fronts Yarra River on its southern boundary.

Developer Glenvill Group has begun the process of redeveloping the massive tract of land which is now dubbed YarraBend, envisaging a mixed-use enclave encompassing medium and high density living, retail, offices, open spaces and community facilities. The process of development will be guided by a site-specific Development Plan which was solidified after more than 18 months of planning.

At the heart of the development plan are key community-based outcomes such as 4.5% of the site being seeded to open space and at least 1,700sqm of space being made available for community facilities.

Yarra Bend will include masses of open space. Image: Glenvill

Glenvill Group has chosen to exceed the minimum community-based requirements of the development plan, in an effort to position YarraBend as Melbourne's premier example of what an amenity-driven development can achieve. Len Warson, Chairman and CEO of Glenvill Group spoke to Urban Melbourne this week regarding the merits of the sharing economy model that explores the merits of sharing communal spaces with neighbours.

Approximately a year before the first sod is turned for construction, Glenvill Group has bedded down a wide-ranging amenities plan. Len Warson explains that YarraBend will have the best possible amenities in place for future buyers, likening them to hotel/resort style experience.

"People want convenience, they want to maximise the use of their time" Warson states, asserting that buyers will be provided with a wealth of amenities within YarraBend, allowing residents to enjoy the best of Yarra Bend and surrounding Alphington.

This, in turn, fosters an inclusive, connected and socially adaptive community. Len Warson also believes that dwellings over the site will increase in value due to the mass of amenities on offer.

Open space and gym facilities within Yarra Bend. Image: Glenvill

YarraBend's development plan incorporates five separate green spaces which will account for roughly 30,000sqm of parkland onsite, including direct access to the Yarra River. 

Len Warson refers to YarraBend as 'Tesla Town' due to its advanced use of technology. A charge point suburb, Glenvill Group has moved to eventually secure a 6 Star Green Star Rating for the suburb, whilst future residents will also be able to utilise a dedicated YarraBend app that will aid in day to day activities within the suburb.

Indeed technology is one of the 'pillars' that YarraBend's amenity is based upon, with other such as health, arts & culture, education and gastronomy taken into consideration.

A shopping centre and 2,000sqm artisan gastronomy precinct are planned, as is an outdoor cinema. It is five level glass pavillion that Len Warson explains will be the design showpiece for YarraBend's amenity credentials. A theatre and sports recreation area are included, as are meeting rooms and  a rooftop bar.

Parkview is Yarra Bend's initial apartment release. Image: Glenvill

As for Parkview, YarraBend's initial apartment release, Len Warson makes note of the project's strong sales uptake. Sold as an entirely retail project in order to attract owner-occupiers, the DKO Architecture-designed building achieved 50% sales in the opening 6-8 weeks of its campaign.

It too will be heavy with amenity and includes a rooftop terrace with pool and heated onsen spa, residents’ lounge with fireplace, private dining room accompanied by a wine cellar and a gym.


Nicholas Harrison's picture

When was the last time a building that was of high enough heritage value to be listed on the Victorian Heritage Register was demolished?

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Rohan Storey's picture

The last time a place on the VHR was entirely demolished was another power station, the Yallourn A-E; in that case, the Heritage Council heard both listing and application for demolition at the same time, and the end result from memory was a listing AND a permit to demolish, due to the high cost of retaining, remediating, lack of use etc. That was about 1995. Maybe it was never officially listed, not sure, but they certainly said it was State level significant, but there's no HV listing now.

Other places have got permits for substantial demolition, like the 1938 Victoria Car Park in Little Collins / Russell Street, where the Heritage Council said no to any demolition, but the Minister, Justin Madden, 'called it in', and allowed demolition in 2011 of all but the Little Collins facade and the construction of the westpac tower all in one set of permits. Hmm thats still on the register, I ought to write to them to tell them to remove, cos its only one facade now.


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Rohan Storey's picture

Was going to say that the master plan didnt have that much parkland really, but its changed a bit from the 2015 one, with 'paper square' and 'artisan park' as well as the original road / plaza at the north end, the little plaza thing next to the 20s boiler house, and the riverbank area of course. Though the streets that are going to run through the place are really not that wide, and in generally things are built up to the street edges (except the suburban allotments on the east side already sold) - going to be very interesting to see if it doesnt turn out to be really quite dense, like the Yorkshire brewery - the tallest here meant to be 14 storeys, thats almost as high....


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