One of the most rewarding parts of any project is seeing the commencement and then completion of construction. It is exciting therefore, to see construction complete for one major project in the City of Moonee Valley and construction underway on two others.

We wrote an article in coll-e-bulletin 30 about the Moonee Ponds Central development by Mirvac and in which Collie was a key consultant. This development is now fully occupied and operational and is proving to be a valued addition to the Moonee Ponds Principal Activity Centre. It is pleasing to see recognition for the project through mention in the Activity Centres Toolkit: Making it Happen, released earlier this year by the Department of Planning and Community Development. The development is a great example of a major redevelopment within an existing activity centre.

Another major project under construction and in which Collie has had a key role is the Ascot Chase development in Ascot Vale. We wrote an article about Ascot Chase in coll-e-bulletin 23 and since then planning permits have been obtained from Council for the fill platform throughout the entire site and also for the subdivision of Stage 2 and construction of dwellings in this stage. Construction of the Ascot Chase Stage 1 subdivision has been completed and the dwellings in Stage 1 are now under construction. As the dwellings take form, it enables a real sense of the final built outcome that has been extensively planned for the site. We look forward to seeing continued progress on this exciting project.

Another major project under construction in the City of Moonee Valley is the Travancore development on the former Lombard Paper site. The site is located strategically on Mt Alexander Road adjacent to the ‘Gateway to Melbourne’ as defined by the City Link sculpture over Moonee Ponds Creek. Collie has provided planning advice to Bensons Property Group throughout the project, which has included a planning scheme amendment, the preparation of development plans, the preparation of planning permit applications and extensive liaison with City of Moonee Valley representatives, other authorities and the community.

The site created numerous challenges to be overcome through the planning process and by the final design and is to be constructed over three stages.

Construction of Stage 1 (Travancore on the Park) has been completed. Stage 1 comprises two low-rise (four and five storey) apartment buildings containing 144 apartments. Around 2,500 square metres of retail space is also provided to front Mt Alexander Road. Stage 1 also included construction of a central piazza.

Stage 2 (Sienna Apartments) is well under construction and consists of an eight level apartment building containing around 240 apartments as well as some commercial floor space to front Mt Alexander Road and the internal access road within the site. This building wraps around the central piazza constructed in Stage 1 and has abuttal to both Moonee Ponds Creek and Mt Alexander Road.

Stage 3 (Alexander Lombard Tower), which is not yet under construction, is proposed at the southern apex of the site and will be 25 storeys high. The tower is to provide residential apartments with commercial floor space at ground floor level. The tower will identify the gateway at the southern end of Mt Alexander Road and to the City of Moonee Valley and will be a landmark building in this part of Melbourne.

We look forward to continued progress on the site and if the high quality architectural outcome of Stage 1 is anything to go by, this will be an exciting development on a grand scale.