Jewell Station redevelopment plans now before Moreland City Council

The public is now able to view plans for Jewell Station's much hyped redevelopment, with documents currently on display for perusal via Moreland City Council's online planning register. After a lengthy community engagement period, VicTrack and development partner Neometro pressed ahead with a town planning submission during July.

Billed as an opportunity to bring residential and retail development to the station precinct in conjunction with an overhaul of Jewell Station's public domain, the project has taken in excess of three years to reach this point. Following periods of public consultation, "The feedback from these sessions was incorporated into Neometro's final designs, which they submitted to council" according to VicTrack.

Public realm improvements

The envisaged remodelling of Jewell Station

Documents within the planning application state on numerous occasions that public realm improvements are exempt from this planning application and are for information purposes only. Having said that, a suite of renders accompanying the provided information suggest the design seen above is what is likely to be delivered.

Precinct landscaping will likely see a new Grand Staircase implemented leading onto the station platform, increased seating surrounding the station, areas set aside for passive and programmed activation such as pop up stalls, new lighting and provision for art installations. Two residential buildings will frame the precinct.

Jewell Station itself will be refurbished and will include facilities for Protective Services Officers.

Furthermore after public input, the revitalisation will also include Watson Park to the west of Jewell Station which will be overhauled to include a new playground, enhanced access to the station, community gardens and a flexible project space.

North residential building

BKK's contribution as envisaged from Union Street
  • 579sqm footprint with existing single story industrial use onsite
  • Designed by BKK Architects
  • Eight level building at 29.9 metres
  • 44 apartments: 23 x 1BR, 19 x 2BR, 2 x 3BR
  • Three level basement for 26 vehicles
  • 46 bikes spaces at ground level
  • Two retail tenancies fronting both Jewell Station and Union Street
  • Rooftop yoga/meditation space, BBQ and terrace included

South residential building

Interaction between old and new
  • 1273sqm footprint with empty industrial building and at grade car park onsite
  • Designed by MA Architects
  • Eight level building at 30.5 metres
  • 78 apartments: 13 x 1BR, 65 x 2BR
  • Three level basement for 74 vehicles and 176 bikes
  • Two commercial tenancies and one retail tenancy at ground level
  • External terrace at Level 1

Comment

Aerial perspective of the Jewell Station redevelopment.

VicTrack states on its website that it along with Neometro hold a shared vision of creating "A place that improves Jewell Station and its surrounds, while reflecting the unique character of Brunswick." One could not imagine that extensive public feedback for the project would have resulted in the southern building presenting as a very simplistic endeavour with slight architectural merit.

The northern building for instance maintains a completely active frontage to Jewell Station-Upfiled Bike Path while the southern building's frontage includes a grilled ground level car park and building services mixed with commercial window fronts. More could have been done with the building itself but more importantly how it presents to the public realm.

It's likely the southern building employs precast panels as an effective means to mitigate noise from the adjoining rail line but one should look no further than The Commons nearby to understand what can be achieved on a development plot opposite a rail line.

Gripes regarding one particular aspect of the precinct renewal aside, the overall result to date looks to be highly satisfactory where it matters most: improving the public realm and improving what is currently an unsafe and decrepit area surrounding a key piece of transport infrastructure.

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