Gurner gets sign off for Jam Factory precinct on Chapel Street

Gurner gets sign off for Jam Factory precinct on Chapel Street
Render of the proposed Jam Factory redevelopment. Image supplied.

The ambitious once-in-a-generation plan to transform Chapel Street’s Jam Factory into a world-class retail, residential, hotel and commercial precinct will soon become reality as the City of Stonnington this week approved the project by proponents Newmark Capital, Gurner™ and Qualitas.

The five-tower redevelopment will deliver 18,500 sqm of new retail space, 20,000 sqm of commercial office and 400 residences across 42,020 sqm of residential space, alongside a 5-star 200-room hotel, a cinema upgrade, and a new public realm. Gurner™ CEO Tim Gurner noted the planning approval achieved for the visionary redevelopment as a remarkable effort by all involved, including consultants and the council.

“We’ve been working closely with the project team, as well as council, to deliver something truly world-class – the redevelopment will put Chapel Street back on the map, not only as a retail hub, but as a luxury travel and lifestyle destination as well,” he said.

Touted as the cornerstone of Chapel Street’s future renaissance, the redevelopment will inject more than $800 million into the Victorian economy annually, in addition to over $500 million in construction alone; workers and residents are expected to spend more than $28 million at the precinct annually, while hotel guests will bring in over $12 million every year.

"The overwhelming support for the project speaks to the blue-chip nature of the location, the world class vision of the project team and the combined power of the joint venture. Our fund investment strategy places an unrelenting focus on quality of our partners and quality of real estate, which gives us confidence this vision will soon become a reality,” added Mark Fischer, global head of real estate and co-founder of Qualitas.

Newmark Capital will deliver and retain ownership of the commercial and retail component, while Gurner™ and Qualitas will deliver the luxury residential and hotel component.

Gurner gets sign off for Jam Factory precinct on Chapel StreetRendering of the proposed residential tower at the Jam Factory site. Image supplied. 

“This will take everything we have learnt from projects like Hawksburn Place Residences and Saint Moritz and elevate it to a whole new level – this is something that will truly put South Yarra at the upper echelon of world luxury property,” Tim Gurner said.

Designed by Bates Smart, the new masterplan is set to re-ignite the river end of Chapel Street and become a world-class mixed-use precinct.

“Architecturally, the site will exhibit strong sculptural forms, carefully managed massing to optimise light and sun access along with natural materiality responding to the context – the buildings will balance the need for solidity with a delicacy and lightness rarely seen in contemporary residential developments," said Bates Smart managing director, Simon Swaney.

The Lovers Walk laneway will become the main pedestrian link for the new Jam Factory, beckoning both cyclists and pedestrians to enter through to the retail and food and beverage tenancies, before they reach the central plaza and town square that define the project characterised by the heritage chimney, open plaza, and amphitheatre.

Newmark Capital Managing Director Chris Langford said the redevelopment celebrates the Jam Factory’s heritage, unlocking the potential of an iconic site.

“Our vision revitalises the Jam Factory, celebrating its rich character and history. The heritage facade on Chapel Street will be refurbished, bringing back the detail and original character. The laneways will draw people through the precinct, seamlessly integrating with Chapel Street and surrounding areas. It will be a thriving, integrated, shopping, working, living and entertainment precinct, the perfect place to live, work, play and stay. It will be a world-leading shared precinct, an asset for the whole community," he said. 

“The new Jam Factory will be a signature, vibrant destination for Melbourne. Permeability will be further boosted by reinstating Turnbull Street, improving accessibility from Chapel Street and through the north-south Bray Lane, which is accessible via Garden Street. The layout of residences will maximise amenity access, both within and outside of the apartment, with generous balconies, natural light, and access to the world-class network of retailers, restaurants, bars, and more.

Gurner gets sign off for Jam Factory precinct on Chapel Street

Aerial shot of the proposed redevelopment of 500 Chapel Street. Image supplied. 

Rooftops across the towers will also be utilised, with gardens, private open spaces, panoramic views, and indoor/outdoor areas – residents will have access to 2,700 sqm of indoor common amenity and over 5,000 sqm of outdoor common space on rooftops alone.

The hotel, which occupies the podium floors of the central residential towers, will welcome each guest into a naturally lit lobby with views of the nearby rooftop gardens and beyond, before they arrive in their room. Sitting above a revitalised heritage façade will be an ethereal, curvilinear office building, hosting large floorplates and touchless technology, providing true workplaces of the future. “ The offices will offer every amenity within an ideally located and connected community,” Langford said.

“With stunning views and large floorplates, they represent workplaces of the future. They will boast spectacular views back to the city and the bay, and will hold a special place in the Melbourne skyline,” said Langford.

The development team has spent 12 months working closely with council, reimagining the scheme from its originally permitted use; it will now become a world-class destination with residential towers, a hotel and more community spaces. Lead architects Bates Smart will be joined by Townshend Landscape Architects and Leonard Design Architects, to create a bold and innovative mixed-use precinct. “ All remnant heritage fabric will be retained and restored - streets and lanes will connect the site to the surrounding street network and context.

An active ground plane centred around a large northfacing village square will provide retail experiences, a new easily accessible supermarket and other essentials. When complete, the redevelopment is expected to support 2,282 jobs on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis, with an estimated 1,286 indirect jobs created as a knock-on effect. Works on the redevelopment are expected to commence when all relevant approvals are secured.

"The team we have assembled for this ambitious project is in a league of its own, and we’re looking forward to commencing works on the site as soon as possible,” Gurner added.

Alison Warters

Alison Warters

Alison Warters is a property journalist for Urban, based in Sydney. Alison is especially interested in the evolution of the New Build/Development space, when it comes to design innovation and sustainability.

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