Demand for employment hubs in the suburbs is on the rise with mixed-use development University Hill in Melbourne’s North reaching its targeted 3,000 job milestone following the addition of two major new occupants to its commercial precinct.
RMIT Health Sciences and the Royal District Nursing Service, the most recent companies to relocate to University Hill, will add a further 200 jobs to the precinct. The $1 billion project has now revised its jobs target to 4,000 due to considerable interest from white collar employers.
As a result of this demand, University Hill’s recently completed fifth stand-alone office building, Ormond Square, will soon be occupied by a range of professional services and medical groups with:
90 per cent of suites sold to owner occupiers
28 small businesses moving in this month including accountants, doctors and designers
Interest from a range of occupiers from the state and federal government to medical, tertiary and business services
Developed by MAB Corporation, University Hill is a 104-hectare mixed-use development in Bundoora, which includes residential, retail, commercial, industrial and health precincts.
MAB Corporation’s Director of Commercial Projects Andrew White said the project’s integrated mixed-use model is the key to its success.
“When we commenced development in 2005, our vision was to create jobs close to where people live and increase the level of white collar employment outside of the CBD,” said Mr White.
“Many thought it would be impossible to bring white collar jobs to the northern suburbs – an area that was traditionally home to blue collar industries like manufacturing, transport and logistics.
“Yet ten years on, we’ve completed our fifth office building and established a high quality office park environment similar to Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.”
Mr White added: “Our vision of creating a 24-hour city which brings together the different elements of urban life – modern employment, housing, shopping precincts, education and transport – has well and truly come to life.
“The success of these kinds of projects boils down to comprehensive and clever planning. What we’ve achieved here at University Hill has set the benchmark for our Merrifield development in Mickleham which we’re completing in conjunction with Gibson Property Corporation,” he said.
MAB believes Melbourne’s north is a key area for growth. Most recent statistics show that The City of Whittlesea’s Gross Regional Product is estimated to be $5.16 billion, approximately 1.5 percent of the entire state’s Gross State Product. Additionally, research reveals that South Morang and Craigieburn in Melbourne’s north are also two of the fastest growing suburbs, not just in Victoria, but across the nation.
City of Whittlesea Mayor Ricky Kirkham said that University Hill has played a significant factor in giving the north growth corridor an economic boost and transformed it into a destination for white collar employment.
“With employment prospects at the centre of the development, University Hill is thriving,” said Cr Kirkham. “The availability of a strong mix of jobs from the retail, medical, finance and engineering sector, has enabled local residents to set up a metropolitan life close to their work.”
Nursing and healthcare services organisation Royal District Nurses Services General Manager Anthony Boffa said a large part of University Hill’s appeal was its location.
“We currently have operations in Diamond Creek, Heidelberg and Moreland. By setting up a centralised hub at University Hill, we’ll be able to free up travel time for our nurses and deliver more efficient services,” said Mr Boffa.
“We’re also involved in collaborative research with RMIT and La Trobe University. Being close to them will make it easier for us to work together.”