Sandhurst proposes $100m town centre in north west Melbourne

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ACTIVE player Sandhurst Retail & Logistics (SRL) has lodged plans for a OMA designed $100 million major town centre in Sunbury South to the City of Hume.

The project will be constructed around 39km north west of Melbourne’s CBD, which will developed under a build-and-hold model, will be delivered over multiple stages following its submission to the council as an Urban Design Framework.

The first stage, which will be due for 2024, will include a national full line supermarket, a discount department store and further commercial and retail spaces, as well as hospitality amenities.

“Submitting this project to council marks another important milestone for our company, as our pipeline continues to expand and diversify, across both retail and logistics assets in Australia’s fastest-growing regions,” said Vivek Subramanian, managing director of SRL.

In addition, stage one will include outdoor amenities, creating a more pedestrian focused space, with urban interfaces, green space, seating, undercover space and wetlands.

“It’s no secret that the regions are in the midst of a renaissance, driven largely by COVID lockdowns, shifting lifestyle priorities, and increased work-from-home capabilities, as well as the Homebuilder grant and regional First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) – this rapid growth underpins the need for high-quality retail assets developed alongside housing,” said Jim Athanas, senior development agent at Sandhurst Retail & Logistics.

The project will aim to meet the needs of Sunbury’s growing population, which is expected to more than double over the next 20 years, according to .id from 42,494 in 2021 to 86,640 in 2041.

“As we did with our Wollert centre, we’ve sought to challenge the common perceptions of growth area town centres with our Sunbury project, which is why we decided to collaborate with OMA once again – we know the team well, and we know they can deliver our vision,” said Subramanian.

This will be OMA and SRL’s second collaboration, after the architecture practice led the design on SRL’s 9,000sqm neighbourhood centre in Wollert.

“We definitely looked to reinvent the concept of a town centre – we’ve consolidated uses around very clear public circulation strategies; rather than spreading uses broadly around the precinct, we’re tightening it up and bringing it closer together, so there’s a better concentration of use, activation and connection for people,” said Paul Jones, director at OMA.

OMA, who are based in the Netherlands, recently opened a permanent office in Australia, following their involvement in the WA Museum Boola Bardip in Perth.

“We’re using good urban principles and planning strategies to bring urban design, architecture and landscape together to deliver a completely different type of outcome – I don’t think there is anything like it,” added Jones.

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