Richmond's Doonside Precinct emerges as a new apartment hub

Richmond's Doonside Precinct emerges as a new apartment hub
Mark BaljakFebruary 6, 2016

Once a stronghold for various industries, Richmond continues to evolve as a highly sought-after inner city apartment hub. While areas north and west of the Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre have seen intense levels of apartment development, the tract of land directly south of Victoria Gardens and east of Burnley Street is now set to continue the trend.

Doonside Precinct has risen to prominence with a string of apartment developments poised to make their mark.

In recent times the initial planning to-ing and fro-ing in order to realise the Doonside precinct have been in full swing. Noteworthy is a recent report delivered by Urbis arguing that proposed amendment to the Yarra Planning Scheme seeking to apply a Heritage Overlay to parts of Doonside Precinct would not provide a net benefit to the community.

Regardless a handful of apartment developments are emerging, creating the first wave projects which will seek to call Doonside home.

Supply Co.

Richmond's Doonside Precinct emerges as a new apartment hub
Supply Co. Image courtesy Forza Capital

First out of the gates is Forza Capital's Supply Co. which references the site's former use. At sales is a Peddle Thorp-designed 11 level apartment building with 140 apartments included.

The site's history has not been lost upon the design team with the exterior maintaining a facade of concrete, glass and mesh privacy screens. The industrial-inspired exterior is balanced out by interiors which have been described as "Sleek, sophisticated and stylishly functional, with the warm, light tones that contrast with bright metal and natural wood."

Richmond's Doonside Precinct emerges as a new apartment hub
A piece of history retained and integrated

At ground level a cafe has been incorporated, as will be the existing facade which will frame the active space.

Burnley Terrace

Richmond's Doonside Precinct emerges as a new apartment hub
Cera Stribley's take on a new Richmond landmark

Architecture firm Cera Stribley recently took the wraps off a concept design for a land parcel abutting Victoria Gardens. Selling agents for the adjoining 77 Burnley Street site have noted Salta Properties as the developer behind Burnley Terrace which is addressed 53-65 Burnley Street.

Producing a concept outlining what could be possible for the sizeable development site, the resultant 20 level tower could carry as many as 411 apartments with 488 basement car parks and 5,870sqm of retail included.

The Burnley Terrace development presents a unique architectural opportunity as various constraints on the site such as its irregularity in shape and planning form controls encourage a bespoke and distinctive design outcome.

As the proposal gets higher, there is a requirement to set the building back to overcome overshadowing controls. The proposal celebrates the concept of ‘terracing’ by defining each layer with contrasting materiality.

The architecture is generally sympathetic to the area and the scale and building forms located to the main street interfaces are comparative to other surrounding buildings. Taller buildings are located to the middle to rear of the immediate precinct where they minimize the amenity impacts to the area.

Cera Stribley
Richmond's Doonside Precinct emerges as a new apartment hub
Block forming a possible outcome. Image courtesy Cera Stribley

Upcoming projects

An all but completed display suite has appeared at 1-9 Doonside Street, most likely for the pending release of 36-44 Doonside Street.

With planning approval given during 2012, the development is shaping as the next apartment release within the budding precinct. In its initial guise the multi-building development catered for in excess of 200 dwellings and held multiple retail spaces within the Rothelowman-designed scheme.

Given the lengthy time between approval and what is shaping as a likely sales launch in the near term, the project may have changed in its appearance.

Richmond's Doonside Precinct emerges as a new apartment hub
Initial designs for 36-44 Doonside Street and 77 Burnley Street

Changing in a different fashion is 77 Burnley Street which until recently was in the hands of St Kilda Road-based developer Pirovich. With its planning application review withdrawn during late January, the site has recently been moved on with TCI Property handling the sale.

Designed by SJB Architects, the ten level building would have featured 63 apartments split between 48 single and 15 dual bedroom dwellings. Using the neighbouring Burnley Terrace development as a template, the new proprietors may seek to add additional levels to any future planning application for their newly acquired development site.

Also waiting in the wings is Salta Properties' 25-35 River Boulevard which has the ability to deliver near on 500 new dwellings.

Factoring in the abundance of large low-rise sites both within and surrounding Doonside Precinct, the area looks capable of churning out apartment projects for many years to come.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

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