"> Malvern Grove – UPco

14-16 Elizabeth Street, Malvern

Client: Hamton Property Group
Project type: Residential (apartments)
Stakeholders: City of Stonnington, local community
Value: $20 million

Image courtesy of Hamton Group

The project
Malvern is a leafy inner-city suburb in Melbourne’s south east, with a reputation for beautiful homes and contextually considered architecture – and when UPco was asked to work on a stunning apartment complex in this setting, we were thrilled. Even better, the project was in partnership with a highly skilled project team that included our lifelong friends at SJB Architects and a longstanding client, Hamton. The vision for the project was a striking, contemporary residential development to be known as Malvern Grove – or MGV.

The challenge

The planning process was complicated, and required a broad range of specialist skills, and the challenges were typical of infill development (where a vacant or underutilised lot is developed within a well-established area). Fortunately, UPco is a well-oiled machine when it comes to appropriately handling infill development for multiple stakeholders.

There was tension between the existing character of the surrounding area (with its period homes and extensive gardens), and the need to introduce a more concentrated development. We worked with the project team to navigate these competing interests, not wanting to threaten the integrity of the area or interfere with the site’s adjoining residents.

UPco coordinated and managed the entire planning process. Multiple VCAT hearings were required to manage conflicting interests and get the development just right – but with our expertise and resolution of key planning questions, we made it through.

The outcome

The result was a development that offers a diverse range of apartment styles, with new pedestrian links creating a sense of openness and flexibility within the precinct. In 2009, the MGV was even recognised by the Planning Institute of Australia, who awarded the development an Urban Design Commendation.

In 2012, MGV was further developed by Avenir Projects, who transformed it into the 111 leafy apartments now known as Malvern Hill. This evolution was made feasible by UPco’s detail-oriented planning process, which paved the way for the subsequent expansion.