Growland plans $600m Joseph Place urban village for Footscray

PUBLICATION: Herald Sun Online, Maribyrnong Leader

A HUGE $600 million urban development is being planned for a key site in Footscray close to the banks of the Maribyrnong River.

Property developer Growland wants to turn the 13,500 sqm site at 8 Hopkins St, Footscray into an urban village called Joseph Place, comprising of roughly 1000 apartments, a retail laneway with 30 outlets linking Footscray to the river, and an Olympic-sized running track.

It’s hoped the site will become a “hub for foodies” with a number of restaurants planned for the laneway.

Growland has also flagged the possibility of including a theatre and rock-climbing wall in the design.

Growland chief executive Mr Yau said Footscray was the same distance from the city as Richmond and was currently undergoing the same transformation Richmond underwent some years ago. “Footscray is currently in the midst of a demographic shift — attracting a new wave of students, young professionals and working families who are looking to reside in a well-connected community with easy access to transport services and state-of-the-art retail, dining and leisure facilities on their doorstep,” Mr Yau said.

“The inner west has been recognised as one of Melbourne’s most undervalued opportunities and is due for rapid growth over the next two to five years,” he said.

Architect firm Kavellaris Urban Design director Billy Kavellaris said the site would enhance all of the good qualities of Footscray. “The aim is to do something different and bring to Footscray a new style of living that celebrate connection and resonates with Footscray’s existing multicultural heritage and established food scene,” Mr Kavellaris said.

“We want this area to become a social, economic and residential hub on the city fringe that makes people’s lives better — and that’s achievable through a combination of great housing, world-class amenity and vibrant retail.”

Growland is hopeful of beginning construction on Joseph Place in early 2017, subject to project approval.