Footscray - the capital of the West

By Charlene GattShare |

2nd November 2010 02:05:11 AM

Grand plan ... Artists impression of a new $350 million landmark mixed use development that will house five State Government departments. 55621


FIVE State Government departments will make Footscray home in a landmark $350 million mixed used development set to make the area the heart of the West.

Planning Minister Justin Madden last week unveiled concept designs for government office space, new housing, student accommodation, a community kitchen and gym and child care facility on a disused 1.3 hectare site on McNab Ave, adjacent to Footscray train station.

City West Water, State Trustees, the Department of Justice, the Department of Planning and Community Development and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will move to the site when it opens in 2014.

Mr Madden said the detailed design work of each building – including building heights – would be determined through the planning application process but that the development included three separate components including office accommodation with retail outlets at ground level; 250 student dwellings, 240 private apartments, 110 affordable housing dwellings and a gym, child care centre, art gallery, artist's residence and community hub with a community garden.

The five-star green development, which is being overseen by Grocon, will create up to 1200 jobs and 600 homes. Construction will start in the new year.

“This development confirms Footscray as Melbourne's capital of the West,” Mr Madden said.

“McNab Ave will be a flagship development right in the heart of Footscray, delivering new residential and commercial development, shared community spaces, cafes and facilities in a sophisticated architectural design.

“Melbourne's inner West is expected to grow significantly over the next 20 to 30 years so it's vital that we provide the jobs, services, housing and retail choices close to where people live.

“This development is a living, breathing example of Melbourne at five million.”

Victoria University praised the development and inclusion of student accommodation, with VU students identified as the preferred tenants of the dwellings.

“This is a great outcome for our students and the university,” deputy vice chancellor of capital and management services Jon Hickman said.

The new development is a key part of the Footscray Renewal project, which has seen upgrades to Maddern Square, Nicholson St Mall and Leeds St.

The announcement comes a week after Footscray MP Marsha Thomson revealed plans for two new platforms at Footscray train station plus an extension to the new footbridge, escalators from the Irving St entrance to the footbridge and escalators from the footbridge to all platforms and an elevator for the new platforms
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