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Plans approved for Jam Factory precinct regeneration

The five-tower redevelopment will deliver 18,500m2 of new retail space

The ambitious plans to transform Chapel Street’s Jam Factory into a world-class retail, residential, hotel and commercial precinct will soon become reality as the City of Stonnington this week approved the project by proponents Newmark Capital, GURNER™ and Qualitas.

The five-tower redevelopment will deliver 18,500m2 of new retail space, 20,000m2 of commercial office and 400 residences across 42,020m2 of residential space, alongside 180 – 200 hotels rooms, a cinema upgrade and a new public realm.

Touted as the cornerstone of Chapel Street’s future renaissance, the redevelopment will inject more than $800 million into the Victorian economy annually, in addition to over $500 million in construction alone; workers and residents are expected to spend more than $28 million at the precinct annually, while hotel guests will bring in over $12 million every year.

Newmark Capital will deliver and retain ownership of the commercial and retail component, while GURNER™ and Qualitas will deliver the luxury residential and hotel component.

Newmark Capital Managing Director Chris Langford said the redevelopment celebrates the Jam Factory’s heritage, unlocking the potential of an iconic site. “It’s been rewarding working with Council and the local community to ensure the project proceeds to the benefit of all.

“Our vision revitalises the Jam Factory, celebrating its rich character and history. The heritage facade on Chapel Street will be refurbished, bringing back the detail and original character. The laneways will draw people through the precinct, seamlessly integrating with Chapel Street and surrounding areas.

“It will be a thriving, integrated, shopping, working, living and entertainment precinct, the perfect place to live, work, play and stay. It will be a world-leading shared precinct, an asset for the whole community. “The new Jam Factory will be a signature, vibrant destination for Melbourne.

The project will deliver a world-class destination with residential towers, a hotel and community spaces

Designed by Bates Smart, the new masterplan will re-ignite the river end of Chapel Street and become a world-class mixed-use precinct with a mixture of retail, commercial office, cinemas, luxury residential and a 5-star hotel.

Bates Smart will be joined by Townshend Landscape Architects and Leonard Design Architects, to create a bold and innovative mixed-use precinct.

The Lovers Walk laneway will become the main pedestrian link for the new Jam Factory, beckoning both cyclists and pedestrians to enter through to the retail and food and beverage tenancies, before they reach the central plaza and town square that define the project –characterised by the heritage chimney, open plaza and amphitheatre.

Permeability will be further boosted by reinstating Turnbull Street – improving accessibility from Chapel Street – and through the north-south Bray Lane, which is accessible via Garden Street.

Bates Smart managing director Simon Swaney: “The Jam Factory has been part of the social fabric of Melbourne since the mid 1970’s thanks to the inspired work by Peter McIntyre, which transformed it from the IXL factory into a vibrant and engaging retail and hospitality hub – through the combined efforts of Newmark, Qualitas and GURNER™, the Jam Factory precinct will once again become the focal point of Chapel Street and South Yarra.

“All remnant heritage fabric will be retained and restored – streets and lanes will connect the site to the surrounding street network and context. An active ground plane centred around a large north-facing village square will provide retail experiences, a new easily accessible supermarket and other essentials.

“Other components include a range of residential apartments, a new hotel, upgraded cinemas, a new office complex, and basement-level carparking, to establish a truly mixed-use complex where the synergy between each component enlivens the other. Sustainability remains at the forefront of its design, with a net-zero target for the project.

“Architecturally, the site will exhibit strong sculptural forms, carefully managed massing to optimise light and sun access along with natural materiality responding to the context – the buildings will balance the need for solidity with a delicacy and lightness rarely seen in contemporary residential developments.

The hotel, which occupies the podium floors of the central residential towers, will welcome each guest into a naturally lit lobby with views of the nearby rooftop gardens and beyond, before they arrive in their room.

The hotel occupies the podium floors of the central residential towers

Sitting above a revitalised heritage façade will be an ethereal, curvilinear office building, hosting large floorplates and touchless technology, providing true workplaces of the future.

The development team has spent 12 months working closely with council, reimagining the scheme from its originally permitted use; it will now become a world-class destination with residential towers, a hotel and more community spaces.

When complete, the redevelopment is expected to support 2,282 jobs on a full-time equivalent basis, with an estimated 1,286 indirect jobs created as a knock-on effect.

GURNER™ CEO Tim Gurner said: “We are incredibly proud to have achieved planning approval for this truly visionary redevelopment – a remarkable effort by all involved including consultants and council.

“We’ve been working closely with the project team, as well as council, to deliver something truly world-class – the redevelopment will put Chapel Street back on the map, not only as a retail hub, but as a luxury travel and lifestyle destination as well.

“The team we have assembled for this ambitious project is in a league of its own, and we’re looking forward to commencing works on the site as soon as possible,” said Gurner.

Mark Fischer, global head of real estate and co-founder of Qualitas said:“The overwhelming support for the project speaks to the blue-chip nature of the location, the world class vision of the project team and the combined power of the joint venture. Our fund investment strategy places an unrelenting focus on quality of our partners and quality of real estate, which gives us confidence this vision will soon become a reality.”

Works on the redevelopment are expected to commence when all relevant approvals are secured.

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