MAB Corporation Plans Manufacturing Hub in Melbourne’s North
Click here to read the article published in the AFR by Larry Schlesinger, 11 June 2015.
MAB Corporation founder and BRW richlister Andrew Buxton believes there is a future for manufacturing in Australia in Melbourne’s northern growth corridor.
Mr Buxton, who founded MAB Corporation 20 years ago with brother Michael, believes the developer’s most ambitious project to date, the vast Merrifield mixed-use estate in Melbourne’s north, can become a future smart-manufacturing hub employing up to 20,000 people across a range of small and large industries.
The foundations for this hub were laid in March when listed paint maker Dulux said it would construct a $165 million water-based paint manufacturing plant on a 17-hectare site at Merrifield that will bring the first 100 jobs to the area.
By the end of the year Mr Buxton said he expected to have commitments that would generate about 400 jobs, with discussions under way with a European-based food manufacturer to establish a facility at Merrifield.
“The first transaction with Dulux signified to the market that we are open for business,” Mr Buxton said. “We expect new forms of manufacturing that use clean technologies to establish themselves at Merrifield. We want to create opportunities beyond the bluecollar- type work and target the more aspirational-type businesses.”
Merrifield is a vast 770-hectare estate at Mickleham, 30 kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD next to Australia’s main freight-moving thoroughfare, the Hume Highway.
Over the next 20 to 30 years MAB Corp is transforming it into an integrated satellite city suburb with a vast business estate, a city centre offering retail, commercial and community amenities, and a residential zone with more than 4000 new homes for 12,000 people and 500 hectares of parkland.
MAB Corporation chief operation officer David Hall said Merrifield was one of the largest master-planned urban developments in Australia and strategically positioned to establish a centre of civic life for Melbourne’s northern growth corridor where “large-scale employment and residential precincts are intrinsically intertwined”.
Mr Hall said Merrifield offered the potential to deliver at least one job per dwelling, consistent with state government policy of creating 83,000 new jobs in the northern growth corridor.
MAB Corporation will soon start stage one of the Merrifield Business Park, a 60-hectare subdivision, with the first residents moving into their homes in the residential zone, Merrifield Living, about the same time.
The first stage of the city centre is expected to begin in 2019 and will comprise the early development of a regional shopping centre.