Corner Blackburn & Dandenong Roads, Clayton

Client: Schiavello / Saraceno Group
Project type: Mixed use (apartments, childcare, cinema, fitness studio, hotel, office, shopping centre)
Stakeholders: City of Monash, State Government, DELWP, VicRoads, Transport for Victoria, local community
Value: $350 million

Image courtesy of FKD Studio

The project
When the Victorian Government released their long-term planning strategy, it included a concept called the ‘20-minute neighbourhood’. In essence, these are ‘miniature cities’ that encourage people to live locally, enhancing liveability, accessibility and connection.

Back in the ‘90s, our client envisaged a small mixed-use plaza, a project that has evolved over the years to contribute to the newer concept of 20-minute neighbourhoods. Set across four buildings and thirteen stories, M-City was intended to open up spaces for shopping, entertainment, lifestyle services, work and living – with a PARKROYAL Hotel rounding out the offering. All of this meant that locals could do a whole lot more without having to travel to far afield.

UPco was engaged at the very beginning of the process to carry out due diligence and provide sound advice – all of which would set the course for this noteworthy development.

The challenge

It came as no surprise that the planning process for M-City was complex and extensive, considering the size of the project and the variety of spaces it promised. Extensive stakeholder consultation was a non-negotiable – we wanted to ensure the project (and its delivery) responded to needs and concerns wherever possible.

Most notably, we sought a planning scheme amendment to zone the site correctly and we produced an Incorporated Document to help with the approvals process. And, with the knowledge that M-City aligned with State planning objectives, we also worked to nominate the Minister for Planning as the responsible authority for the application, who would view the project through the lens of State growth.

The outcome

After much hard work, the planning scheme amendment was gazetted and we secured the planning permit in 2009.

After the approval of the initial planning permit, UPco continued to advise on further approvals and amendments, ensuring that M-City evolved in a way that was beneficial to the client, the community and the market – and it’s likely this relationship will endure well into the future.