MAB Corporation: Year in Review By David Hall, Chief Operating Officer
MAB has hit the ground running in 2015 off the back of a highly active and successful 2014.
As reported in this edition of The Vision, we were delighted to offi cially launch Monument Park at NewQuay in December 2014, setting a new benchmark for the development of public spaces at Docklands. It is a great example of the way MAB operates, by collaborating with architects, artists, Places Victoria and the City of Melbourne.
Investment in place making at NewQuay is a key element of MAB’s strategy to develop a strong sense of community, as well as contributing to the economic vitality of NewQuay for businesses within the precinct. The development of great places that support both community development and economic development are fundamental drivers of MAB’s approach to delivering communities. Our design team’s focus on this component throughout a range of settings, from our work at NewQuay to the integration of art in our landscaping at University Hill, through to the new landscaping and sculpture by Alexander Knox at Merrifield, a joint venture with GPC.
2015 will see a lot of activity surrounding our employment-focussed projects, particularly across our mixed-use projects and MAB Business Parks. With our partner GPC, we will finalise arrangements for major infrastructure to enable the commencement of the 300 hectare Merrifield Business Park in the first half of 2015. Designated by the Victorian Government as a State Significant industrialnode and holding what will be Victoria’s largest master-planned business park, Merrifield will become home to businesses requiring access to Melbourne’s transport infrastructure. Importantly, Merrifield will provide a diversity of jobs with a strong focus on increasing the level of white collared employment in Melbourne’s northern region. For 10 years we have been planning to accommodate jobs close to where people live, and in 2015 the jobs will begin.
A focus on developing commercial office space to attract small business and new jobs will continue at University Hill, with the completion of our latest commercial projects, 30 Janefield and Ormond Square. Our commercial offices committed at University Hill provide accommodation for approximately 170 small businesses, and will see our job target soar to 2500 jobs across the project. MAB’s 2015 jobs strategy at University Hill will continue to focus on maximising white collar jobs, particularly in the health and education sector. The MAB model of creating the ideal environment for commercial offices in Melbourne’s growth areas is unique, and is making a positive contribution to the local economy in the City of Whittlesea.
The economic activity at MAB Business Parks is forecast for strong growth in 2015. Alliance Business Park in Epping is welcoming global logistics supply chain company Mainfreight and major fruit and vegetable market wholesaler Rainfresh, constructing new major facilities for both groups. MAB’s pioneering development, Thompsons Base in Cranbourne West, has received solid support from the market and is now 70 percent sold. In 2015, we will see construction activity at Thompsons Base which will act as a catalyst for delivering jobs in the Cranbourne West Precinct Structure Plan area.
We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders during 2015 as we continue to help shape the future of Melbourne.