Southern Bloom

South of the Yarra River and two kilometres south of Melbourne’s CBD, just the other side of the West Gate Freeway, is the emerging suburb of South Melbourne. One of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, South Melbourne is bounded by Kings Way and Southbank in the north and east, Albert Park in the south and Port Melbourne in the west. The leafy, tree-lined streets are dotted with Victorian homes and independent businesses, fine dining and superb coffee houses serving a hip, modern community. South Melbourne is a diverse district that was home to just under 10,000 in 2011 flocking to the renowned dimsum at South Melbourne Market — the neighbourhood’s beating heart — on weekends. If the government has anything to say about it, that number will balloon to 80,000 by 2050.

Announced in 2012, the nearby Fisherman’s Bend regeneration — 248 hectares spanning Port Phillip and Melbourne — is the largest urban renewal project underway in Australia. Much like government announcements of the MTR Island Line extension in Hong Kong or Crossrail construction in London, property prices spiked shortly thereafter in South Melbourne and Fisherman’s Bend with the decision to roll it into the Capital City Zone. An estimated 60,000 jobs will also be flooding the area. Mark Wizel, national director of retail investments, capital markets Australia for CBRE in Melbourne theorised in The Age in late-2014, “If Melbourne is to become a 8 million people city, the Fishermans Bend precinct and the foresight that our industry leaders have had will be critical in accommodating this growth.” Wizel also estimated land values increased as much as 500 percent since the rezoning, more where developers have won high-rise planning approvals.

South Melbourne, however, is already a growing district that will only benefit from urban renewal. The City of Port Phillip is positioning Fisherman’s Bend to pivot on six key tenets: integrated transport, economic development, a commitment to continued diversity, sustainable development, catalytic infrastructure and design and density control. It’s in this growth environment that Portal Properties is developing Vivid181, one of the first projects to embrace South Melbourne’s future.

“Vivid notably is located in the first area to be revitalised. The infrastructure is being up-graded with government committed to expend $70million including on a new school and public park, all to be completed at the beginning of 2018, before Vivid will be complete,” says Michael Emery, founder and principal at boutique developer Portal Properties in Melbourne. “Vivid is also located on arguably the best site in the area, with direct access to the light rail and in close proximity to the CBD and South Melbourne, adjacent to the new school and the new park.” Steps from the South Melbourne Market, a stone’s throw from the Royal Botanic Gardens and a tram ride from leisure amenities, Vivid is set to live up to its name.

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