by Neometro

Shaping Melbourne: The New Model of Development

Ideas - by Laura Phillips

The Urban Developer and The Communications Collective hosted a discussion on the new model of property development in Melbourne.

The evening at the end of April brought together four companies that are shaping Melbourne’s urban fabric and challenging an industry that has grown complacent with value managed design and sales secured by the boom in local and offshore investment.

The Directors of Neometro, Assemble Projects, Milieu and Kalex spoke on how they strive to redefine business success and resist cookie cutter marketing campaigns. The four were united in their commitment to delivering projects that give back to the communities they build in.


Neometro’s James Tutton

Neometro supports a wide variety of arts programs and social initiatives that unite their community with shared interests and new ideas. Urban farming group 3000acres, Slopes Gallery, Place Holder cafe, Smiling Mind and of course Open Journal are the social pillars of Neometro’s vision of High Density Happiness, ones that are formalised in the company’s certification as a B Corp. Neometro’s New Urban Village at Jewell Station will bring these partners together for an ongoing program covering arts, design, wellness and food that will launch in Brunswick mid 2016.

Ben Keck and his team at Assemble Projects, Assemble Papers and Fieldworks have brought Roseneath Street, Clifton Hill to life with the Brutalist Block Party in collaboration with Open House Melbourne that will see the space as a hive of activity with talks, film nights, produce market and arts performances. The month-long program is but one use of the enormous space, which has also hosted an extensive series of community design presentations in the lead up to launching sales of Assemble’s very first residential project. Highly consultative and transparent communication between the development team and the local Clifton Hill community has not only resulted in a favourable planning outcome for the project, but will ultimately shape a development that adds to the active, diverse and creative mindset of the suburb.


CityShapers of Melbourne Audience

For Michael McCormack, Milieu is underpinned by the idea that property development is the sum of the built and the social environment, where the built form cannot be successful without considering how new residents will positively participate and contribute to the existing community. Milieu has added to the arts community of the inner North including producing an homage to Melbourne in a broadsheet photo essay (Edition 1 featured Tom Blachford and Kate Ballis), establishing an exhibition space on Peel Street as well as a partnership with Loose Leaf that has produced the go to ‘Plants’ guide and a community market that brings together indoor plant enthusiasts.

Kyp Bosci of Kalex spoke of the overwhelming response to the popup Broadsheet Melbourne cafe at their Gertrude Street site, as one of a number of successful partnerships that define the company. Kalex frequently donate space for a range of arts practices and exhibitions that ensures their sites are active and contributing during the planning stage before construction.

Good design needs to be confident. Neometro, Assemble, Milieu and Kalex advocate for a new standard in how we design, build and live. One that demands developments go beyond a profit margin to deliver housing that supports positive well being and resilient communities, rich in platforms to meet new people, join discussions, form creative partnerships and realise ideas that give back.


122 Roseneath Street, Clifton Hill


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