M-City: Melbourne’s newest and largest mixed-use development

Posted on October 16th, by Kathryn Kutchel in Civil Engineering, Planning, Project Management, Projects, Survey, Urban Design.

M-City is set to be Melbourne’s largest mixed-use development outside of the CBD. Located in Clayton the 35,000m² community will include 600 + apartments, a hotel, office complex, and an extensive shopping and dining precinct. Here’s how it’s progressing so far.

Located just 30 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, the Monash region is experiencing strong capital growth. It is consistently outperforming metropolitan Melbourne in real estate market growth, demonstrated by a 19 percent median house price growth in 12 months.

These conditions make it the perfect location for the new M-City development, a major mixed-use complex that is set to be released to tender shortly.

Taylors was awarded the survey and subdivision services for the development, but has actually been involved with the project for the last ten years. Taylors’ General Manager – Urban Development Survey, Leo Bateman, said “We’ve completed boundary marking and extensive on-road surveys using our innovative mobile laser scanning capabilities, as well as detailed underground service locating, including an adjacent service which is part of a national grid for the telecommunication cabling in the area,” Mr Bateman said.

“The locating of services is quite important as completing this accurately is key to saving the client any future delays, costs or embarrassment.

“This is in addition to the plan of subdivision, which isn’t straightforward when you’re dealing with a mixed-use development of this magnitude. It has a hotel, office, retail, and three residential towers, as well as one low-rise residential building. This means there are a lot of different stakeholders that need to be happy with the outcome.”

Large-scale challenges

Mr Bateman said with a development this large, subdivision can be challenging, and this project in particular required numerous meetings with stakeholders; the consultant team comprising the architect, owners corporation managers, the real estate agents selling the land, Traffic engineers, service engineers and numerous lawyers; in addition to the project director and client representatives.

“We’ve been pivotal in leading the discussion on how to produce an appropriate subdivision structure that’s going to suit this development into the future,” Mr Bateman said.

“There’s a lot of pressure around the project based on driving sales so we’ve been innovative in working out how best to deliver the client’s requirements to meet the market.

“We have a significant amount of experience and expertise preparing plans, but with this development it wasn’t just a case of ‘we’ve done it before, we’ll just do it again’, we had to make sure we really understood the specific objectives needed to achieve the best commercial outcome and then we created strategies to achieve this.”

Future opportunities

Currently, demolition of the existing buildings is underway, including excavations and piling around the edges of the site, in order to commence construction of the basement. The project is awaiting final approval of its development plan which will allow the construction to begin, with the tender for the build contract set to be released shortly.

Once built, M-City residents will have access to a pool and gym, a landscaped rooftop garden, tennis facilities, open air games area, childcare facilities and a BBQ space. 60 specialist spaces are also planned for the shopping and dining precinct which currently includes Woolworths, Kmart and a cinema.

Mr Bateman said Taylors will undertake more ground survey work in order to include additional land in the project. He said working on this development has given Taylors further experience dealing with challenges of this size, and cemented several industry relationships.

“Projects of this nature allow us to develop and build relationships with clients. It’s about being able to enter into a relationship with a new client, and gain their respect by showing them we can deliver and provide solutions for their project. That’s the most important thing to us,” Mr Bateman said.