One of Melbourne’s best-known retail sites, the Jam Factory on South Yarra’s Chapel Street, has won a green light from the local council for its transformation into $1.25 billion entertainment, shopping and office extravaganza.
At a meeting this week, Stonnington Council resolved to issue “a notice of decision to grant a permit” for the plans put forward by the site’s owner, Newmark Capital.
Newmark is a boutique property syndication platform run by Chris Langford and Simon T. Morris and has made rapid headway since its establishment seven years ago.
The Jam Factory – it was once home to the Red Cross Preserving Company – is in the centre of Chapel Street, one of Melbourne’s best-known shopping precincts.
Newmark took control of the historic property three years ago, buying it from Challenger for about $165 million.
Under the ambitious proposal the somewhat-jaded icon will be recreated as a 100,000-square-metre mixed-use precinct with a large component of office space.
“We are pleased with the decision made by Stonnington Council as a step towards realising our vision for the future of the Jam Factory,” Mr Morris said.
“We strongly believe that our proposal represents a great outcome for the Chapel Street and wider community, as well as existing and future local businesses.
“We are heartened by the encouraging feedback we received from residents, traders and stakeholders during the course of the consultation period, and we thank everyone involved in the process.”
The project will require $450 million in investment, creating a series of four office towers, rising as high as 15 storeys, above a three-level retail, dining and entertainment podium.
Designed by Bates Smart and Leonard Design, the proposal will reinstate the laneways that once ran through the site.
The office component will deliver 50,000 square metres, with floorplates of up to 4000 sq m.
“It’s a game-changer for Victoria in terms of a mixed-use development in the middle of one of the most vibrant demographics in the state,” Mr Morris told The Australian Financial Review.
“It’s a game-changer for South Yarra and Chapel Street to have this kind of commitment to investment.”
Newmark added to its expanding portfolio earlier this month buying the Brandon Park mall in Melbourne’s south-east from Vicinity and TelstraSuper for $135 million.
Two years ago, Newmark bought the Como Centre, a mixed-use asset also on Chapel Street, from Mirvac in a $236.5 million deal.
Last year it sold one of its early prizes, a landmark office tower in Melbourne’s St Kilda Road, to Singaporean fund manager Mapletree in an off-market deal of almost $150 million.
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