Angry off the plan Evo apartment investors join Greens to protest East West Link Parkville plans

Furious buyers of apartments in Pace Development Group’s Evo Apartments in Parkville are bandying together following news that the development is likely to be surrounded by freeways under the Victorian government's East West Link plans.

A website – noroadtunnel.com - has been set up by worried investors, some of whom signed bank guarantees in lieu of deposits just a few weeks ago.

They also took part in a Greens rally against development of the tunnel on Sunday joining residents and business owners who are set to lose their homes and properties from compulsory acquisition as well as Melburnians who fear the loss of pristine parkland.

Evo is due to be completed in November with current plans for the development of the East West Link and tunnel suggesting elevated freeways forming a triangle around the seven level apartment block featuring 175 apartments.

off the plan investor James Egan, who represents a group of more than 10 buyers, says marketing material sent out about the development made no mention of the possible impact of the East West Link.

“There was no mention of it all. They said Evo would be well north of any future development,” he told Property Observer.

Pace's Evo website makes no mention of the East West Link.

Egan says he has visited the area along with other investors and has spoken to local residents who have received letters about possible acquisition of their properties from Linking Melbourne Authority, the Victorian government body in charge of the project.

“On the southern side of Evo, it looks to be only about 10 metres away from the proposed ramp," says Egan.

It's also the same side that residents in blocks of units have been issued with letters about the site being acquired for the tunnel.

“We have bombarded Pace with calls and we have are trying to band together as many as possible,” he says.

Another angry investor commented on Property Observer that he could not believe Pace would complete the development and expect owners to settle when it's going to sit “right smack bang in the middle of the East West Link”.

Lawyers for Pace met with Linking Melbourne Authority last week, describing the meeting as “productive and informative” but with no details as to what exactly is being discussed.

“At this stage we are keeping those directly involved as up to date as possible, and as developments progress we will be issuing statements as necessary,” said a spokesperson for Pace.

The Greens rally was organised by deputy leader and member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt.

He says the government’s latest release of designs and letters sent to residents foreshadowing the acquisition of their homes is creating fear.

“It’s completely unfair to leave people in limbo by saying it will be another year before any specific property acquisition notices go out,” he says.

“We shouldn’t be wrecking people’s homes and precious parkland for another toll road that’s economically unsustainable and that won’t fix traffic congestion.”

The Greens want investment in public transport to fix congestion on Alexandra Parade and the Eastern Freeway by building a rail line to Doncaster and building Metro Rail. 

Earlier this year Bandt introduced a bill to prioritise the $3 billion committed to Metro Rail over any federal contribution to East West toll road.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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