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MERRIFIELD by MAB Corporation and Gibson Property Corporation

WHEN you have prospective buyers sleeping overnight in their cars to be among the first to secure a block of land, you know you’re on to an estate that’s got something special to offer.

This 900ha development in Melbourne’s north aims to make life easy and enjoyable, offering residents a “genuine city environment, not just another residential subdivision with a few local shops”, Merrifield project director Matthew Planner said.

“Merrifield is the largest mixed-used, masterplanned community in Victoria,” he said of the development that includes a 165ha city centre and 305ha business park, expected to generate more than 30,000 jobs.

Merrifield’s city centre will offer a vibrant retail and entertainment lifestyle hub. The hub is planned to feature a regional shopping centre (a joint initiative between the estate’s developers and QIC) with 200,000sq m-plus retail floorspace.

Stage one of the city centre is due to open in late 2019 and will include a supermarket and specialty stores.

Also proposed is a waterfront city with restaurants, cafes, entertainment and shopping.

The Merrifield Business Park shows the developers’ commitment to “fostering an environment of innovation and opportunity for residents”, Mr Planner said. A jobs portal was recently launched to help residents search for local employment.

Merrifield will eventually be home to about 30,000 people. Already, 1000 residents have moved in.

“All lots in Merrifield are within a five-minute walk to a park,” Mr Planner said, adding there were extensive walking and cycling paths, too.

The first neighbourhood park, built before residents even started moving in, includes an architecturally designed climbing net.

“Our next park will be delivered early next year and will feature a lookout tower designed to capitalise on the natural high point in the land and vistas on offer,” Mr Planner said.

Also planned is Merrifield Park, which is slated to include sporting facilities, playgrounds, waterways and more.

The park will supplement a range of ovals, tennis courts, wetlands, outdoor play equipment and an aquatic centre. Together, the facilities demonstrate how health and well-being are a focus of the estate.

Residents will eventually have access, within the development itself, to childcare, a kindergarten, two primary schools, a secondary college, and tertiary and vocational-training facilities.

“All aspects of a thriving community have been thoughtfully considered,” Mr Planner said.

About 30km from Melbourne’s CBD, Merrifield has easy access to Melbourne Airport and the Hume Freeway, while Donnybrook train station is nearby.

WORDS: NATASHA PERERA

Originally published in Herald Sun’s Real Estate Home Living on 18 November 2017