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Vicinity Centres starts work on ambitious mixed-use project

Retail landlord Vicinity Centres has commenced work on its largest mixed-use project to date, the $450 million three-tower luxury residential address Sky Garden on top of The Glen in Melbourne’s southeast.

Vicinity Centres has sold the air rights above the refurbished mall to Chinese-backed commercial developer Golden Age Group which will construct the three-tower Skygarden complex, Australia’s largest air-rights development, with a combined value close to $1 billion.

“The Glen’s residential project, Sky Garden, marks a new era as this is Vicinity’s first residential mixed-use project and Australia’s biggest residential project being built over a retail destination,” said Grand Kelley, Vicinity CEO and managing director.

The Glen is currently undergoing a $430 million redevelopment with the next retail stage poised to launch in August. The additional retail space includes a new format 8000sqm David Jones store, outdoor dining precinct and a new lifestyle and fashion precinct with 50 specialty stores.

With the construction of the retail project nearing completion, the Golden Age Group has settled its purchase of the residential site from Vicinity and commenced the construction of more than 500 apartments.

“This residential project is in line with Vicinity’s strategy to create market-leading destinations and deliver enhanced value for securityholders by realising value from mixed-use opportunities such as offices, hotels and apartments, at our flagship and high potential centres,” Kelley said.

“Our strategy takes advantage of our shopping centres’ great locations around Australia as more and more people seek to live in areas which satisfy a range of diverse lifestyle needs.”

Designed by Rothelowman, DKO Architecture and ASPECT Studios, Sky Garden will feature a 4000sqm ‘garden in the sky’ that will act as a community meeting place for residents.

The development will house approximately 1,550 residents once completed, Vicinity Centres said.

According to Jeff Xu, Golden Age Group founder and managing director, Sky Garden’s 4000sqm rooftop garden is comparable in size to an inner-city Botanic Garden. The gardens are multi-functional, created with purpose and tailored to all different lifestyles and needs.

The construction contract for Sky Garden has been awarded to national builder Probuild, creating up to 500 jobs over the duration of the construction period, with 400 construction workers expected on site at the peak of the construction.

The three towers will be built and completed simultaneously with settlements expected to occur from early 2021. Sky Garden will include more than 7,200 panels across its 22000sqm glass façade and use four electric tower cranes and seven material hoists during construction.

The other Vicinity mixed-use development currently under construction is the $130 million Hotel Chadstone Melbourne, MGallery by Sofitel which is set to open in November.

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