Frasers wins approval for world’s most sustainable mall in Melbourne
Frasers Property Australia will today kick off construction of what it claims is the world’s most sustainable shopping centre, after receiving planning approval.
The Singaporean developer’s Burwood Brickworks mall in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs will house a commercially operated urban farm on its roof, recycle rain and waste water and generate enough power through solar panels to sell electricity back to the grid.
The $115 million mall received global sustainability certification from the Seattle-based International Living Futures Institute last year following the Brickworks Living Building Challenge design competition which was won by a consortium led by architects DWP|Suters.
A permit to build the mall was recently granted by the Whitehorse City Council. It forms part of a $500 million approved master-planned estate that will include 700 dwellings comprising apartments, townhouses, terrace housing and free-standing homes.
A full-line 4200 square metre Woolworths supermarket will anchor the 12,700 square metre mall alongside a Dan Murphy’s, plus cinemas, food and beverage, a childcare centre, medical centre and health and fitness offering.
The prefabricated mall will include the use of sustainably sourced laminated timber and recycled bricks along with 3900sq m of billabong plantings and 2000sq m of vines while up to 99 per cent of construction waste will be repurposed rather than become landfill.
Melbourne builder Hacer will undertake the construction with the mall due for completion in late 2019. It will target a Six Star Green Star Design and As-Built rating, the first of its kind for retail in Australia.
Peri Macdonald, executive general manager for retail at Frasers, said the focus on offering non-discretionary retail and services reflected the developer’s philosophy of “super neighbourhood” centres where the tenancy mix comprises predominantly food and beverage, fresh food, convenience, catering, entertainment and leisure offerings.
“It’s partly in response to the disruption happening in the sector, but is also the type of tenant mix that works well in our communities,” Mr Macdonald said.
He said Frasers’ preference was for the urban farm and attached restaurant to be operated by the same group in a “paddock to plate style” offering.
Frasers is investing an additional $10-$12 million on sustainability features, but expects to recoup this from higher turnover and higher speciality rents, at around $1000 per sq m, while tenants will benefit from lower energy costs and appealing shopping environment.
Sarah Bloom, Frasers general manager for residential in Victoria, said the first two apartment buildings in the estate had received permits with a permit for the first 85 homes – three, four and five bedroom townhouses – “imminent”.
Prices will start from about $400,000 for a one-bedroom apartment up to over $1 million for a five-bedroom townhouse, she said.
Frasers – then called Australand – paid $65 million to buy the former quarry site on Middleborough Road in Burwood East from US investment group Reading International in 2014.
The industrial site was rezoned for residential use and received master planning approval by Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne in August 2015.
Residential sales will commence in spring with the estate’s first apartments, townhouses and lots due to be completed by 2020.