MAB wins 2010 UDIA Masterplanned Development Award for University Hill

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Dec 13th, 2010

MAB Corporation's University Hill has been awarded the esteemed Urban Development Institute of Australia's (UDIA) 2010 Master Planned Development award.

Thinking outside the conventional development model has been a hallmark for MAB Corporation and University Hill has been no different, with MAB designing and creating a fully integrated mixed use community with nine distinct precincts in a unique living environment.

The renowned developer took a 104 hectare site once owned by RMIT in Melbourne's northern suburb of Bundoora and transformed it into a vibrant community that has been described as "the first street-based town centre in Melbourne for 30 years".

The $1 billion University Hill site is now more than two-thirds completed after just seven years of development, with over $600 million invested in the development to date.

MAB Corporation University Hill Project Director Mr Jason Wood said with the support and cooperation of the City of Whittlesea planners we have combined employment with lifestyle and created a unique urban village.

He said flexibility to ride the property cycles over the past seven years, and a strict adherence to its agreed vision has created a coherent and liveable environment for residents, workers and shoppers.

"What MAB created at University Hill is an inner-city suburb with the aesthetics of the natural environment 20 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.

"What was originally planned as an employment precinct, now offers so much more to the community with employment, retail, residential and commercial zones mixed together in a vibrant lifestyle development."

Centred on a street-based town centre, University Hill comprises two business parks and a range of housing choices.

To date, more than 200 apartments and 300 homes have been built making up around half of the planned 1,000 homes.

The Business Park continues to stamp its name as the preeminent employment location for Melbourne's North with MAB releasing its third office building to the market, 240 Plenty Road, offering further opportunities for business to join the likes of Continental, Doncaster BMW, Northway Honda and regional offices for VicRoads, Department of Industry, Innovation and Regional Development (DIIRD), Australian Electoral Commission and CRS.

University Hill's community is further complemented by a mix of over 100 retail shops, cafes and restaurants together with a range of health services. To further enhance the businesses and residents lifestyles University Hill's will include a fully-equipped Genesis Gymnasium and Quest Serviced Apartments.

University Hill has also previously been awarded:
AILA Victoria Award for Excellence ‘Planning in Landscape Architecture'
PIA Awards for Planning Excellence ‘Urban Design Plan Ideas'
UDIA Victorian Award for Water Sensitive Urban Design' for the Wetlands
University Hill Award: UDIA 2010 Master Planned Development

What the Judges said:

"The objective of developing a fully-integrated and sustainable mixed-use community has been largely achieved. In close consultation with the City of Whittlesea and other government agencies, MAB has designed a residential community, which caters to a broad market and allows people to work and enjoy leisure activities in close proximity to their homes.

The challenge of integrating a range of uses such as commercial and light-industrial has been overcome through the creation of a set of principles and urban development guidelines, which provided guidance for the location, setbacks and types of uses being built.

The site's topographical and natural advantages have been used for best effect to create an appealing environment.

A range of housing styles from one-bedroom apartments to detached homes enhances the appeal of the project from an accessibility perspective. The developer has achieved a diverse representation of industry sectors within the business precinct from professional services to manufacturing, and combined with a central town centre, which offers substantial retail, a true master-plan outcome has been achieved."