The Victorian government is seeking to develop a seven-level building on the first infill site it created as part of the contentious multi-billion-dollar level-crossing removal program.
In an application to be decided by Planning Minister Richard Wynne, another level of government – VicTrack, with private developer, DealCorp – is seeking permission to build an approximate $80 million mixed-use complex at 287 Burke Road, Glen Iris.
The newly created property beside the now sunken Gardiner train station, about 10 kilometres south east of Melbourne, is one of dozens of valuable infill sites the government will create and seek to redevelop over the next couple of years.
The Burke Road proposal seeks to add 143 apartments and 169 car parks. As usual with medium-density developments in activity centres, the Glen Iris complex will include lower-level commercial space – in this case, of 980 square metres.
VicTrack owns, manages and develops a significant property portfolio and reports to the Treasurer and Minister for Public Transport. Unlike some other levels of government, it does not need to tender or announce all of its property dealings.
The involvement of DealCorp – the applicant – suggests a behind-closed-doors deal has been struck with the government enterprise.
Last month, it was announced that the same developer was preparing a proposal to build a 13-level building on another infill site created as part of the level-crossing removal program, at the nearby Ormond station.
DealCorp and VicTrack did not respond to questions about their joint application at Gardiner. It is expected DealCorp will seize full control of the multi-million dollar asset once any permit is granted.
In a statement VicTrack spokeswoman Jo Mayall said: “Following the removal of the level crossing at Burke Road, Glen Iris, a mixed-use residential and retail development is proposed for the Gardiner station precinct”.
“Details of the [Glen Iris] proposal are still being finalised, and more information on the project will be available early next year”.
Unveiled in January, six months after some 250 tradespeople worked on it 24 hours a day, Gardiner was the first of 50 stations in the state government’s level crossing removal project – which includes the controversial $1.6 billion Caulfield-to-Dandenong Skyrail.
Roads around the Gardiner station were a notorious traffic bottleneck particularly in the two-hour morning peak, when station boom gates were down for more than 40 minutes.
In September the Andrews government confirmed 11 more train station level crossings will be removed including in Brunswick, Campbellfield, Coburg, Dandenong South, Essendon, Glenroy, Laverton, Werribee and Williamstown.