Ashwood Chadstone Gateway project (ACGP) is a major housing and urban renewal development providing high quality housing in Ashwood and Chadstone area 15km outside of Melbourne CBD across six sites. The $140m leveraged development delivered a mixture of affordable rental properties for singles, couples, families and older people on low to moderate incomes, as well as privately owned dwellings. In total the development provides 210 social housing apartments and townhouses, plus a further 72 privately owned dwellings.
The 6 sites which form the Ashwood Chadstone Gateway project included the cluster of neighbouring sites on Power Avenue and Elliot Street originally occupied by DHS dwellings in poor condition and the Huntington Disease Institute; and 4 vacant suburban lots. A key intention within the redevelopment through all phases was to maximise community housing yields throughout the six sites whilst maintaining a degree of housing diversity and relevant use in specified areas.
The architectural response respected the existing scale and character of the surrounding neighbourhood using massing, medium rise building height and staggered step back from the street to ensure that the buildings contributed positively at a pedestrian scale. By situating the buildings closer to the train line, there was an opportunity to blur the transition from the footpath through soft landscaping creating for community interaction.
The $140m project was leveraged with the Victorian Government and PPHA contribution $70 million each to the development. The 72 private units were sold off the plan prior to construction with funds used by PPHA to leverage and deliver approximately 200 additional affordable housing dwellings within Metropolitan Melbourne without further Government support. The project is considered a game changer as a mixed tenure infill development that delivers triple bottom line returns on investment and breaks the cycle of reliance on Government funding for affordable housing.
The development was a carefully considered and well-designed response, undertaken with significant public consultation; addressing issues of height, density, neighbourhood character and building scale, to create a mix of housing to ensure the project was socially sustainable and commercially viable. The development successfully demonstrates how to increase density in well-serviced locations, enhance amenity, while minimising impacts on the surrounding neighbourhood.
The Ashwood Chadstone Gateway project was a finalist in the 2014 Property Development Australia awards for Best Development, and has been presented as a case study at several conferences.
Location: Ashwood, Australia
Area: 9,000 sqm
Architects: FMSA Architecture
Photographs: Peter Clarke, Andrew Latreille