$500M Residential development at former University of Melbourne site gets green light

25 January 2024

Leading Melbourne private developer, Hamton Property Group has won approval to redevelop the former Hawthorn campus of the University of Melbourne, with the site now rezoned from Public Use Zone to Residential Growth Zone.

A detailed Development Plan has also been approved by the Minister for Planning, paving the way for the site to be redeveloped into a 1.6ha luxury residential development.

The approved Development Plan allows for around 350 apartments across six boutique buildings, ranging from three to seven levels in height.

Hamton entered a contract to buy the site from the University in early 2022, subject to rezoning, with settlement due to occur in early March 2024.

Proceeds from the sale will be used by the University to meet part of its financial commitment to the new Australian Institute for Infectious Disease in Parkville, a $650m plus development in partnership with the State Government. An analysis by Charter Keck Cramer of forecast housing demand and supply in the Hawthorn catchment, commissioned by Hamton, demonstrates the severe undersupply in this established area of Melbourne over the next three years alone:

Hamton Founder and Executive Chairman, Paul Hameister OAM said:

“This approval from the Minister for Planning enables the delivery of meaningful new housing supply in the popular inner east of Melbourne, where development opportunities of scale are non-existent, and demand for high-quality residences continues to outstrip supply.

“Our vision for this development is to create a global exemplar of gentle medium density housing, with a collection of mid-rise buildings set within lush green parks and gardens that prioritise people and community, with excellence in sustainability at its core.

“There are around 100 existing trees onsite, of which only four are assessed as significant – meaning only those four would ordinarily be required to be retained under the planning scheme.

“We are pleased that the Minister agreed with our decision to retain the vast majority of existing trees, and we will take our commitment to greening the habitat even further by planting an additional 100 trees, to create a truly nature-based neighbourhood.

Around one-third of the site will be green open space accessible by the local community, with deep soil planting zones that far exceed the statutory requirements.

Hamton is committed to achieving ESD excellence with this project, targeting a 5 Star Green Star rating, 7 Star NatHers rating and Climate Active certification as Net Zero.

Hamton has also committed to delivering 10 percent of the apartments as affordable housing for moderate income earners, including key workers like teachers at surrounding schools including Auburn South Primary School, Bialik College and Scotch College.

Hamton plans to launch sales in Q3 2024, with construction to commence mid-2025.