Construction has officially commenced at Riverlee’s $2 billion New Epping community in Melbourne’s north, marked with a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday.
The event saw Stage 1 works kick-off which encompass the $133 million 126-bed Northern Private Hospital to be operated by Ramsay Health Care, along with the Stage 1 residences, featuring a mix of social and affordable homes to be operated by Haven; Home, Safe.
Spanning 51-hectares, the project is set to become a vibrant city in the suburbs which will see the rehabilitation and development of the former Epping Quarry into a mixed-use precinct featuring health, residential and commercial uses.
To be developed over a 10-to-15-year period, the plan for New Epping is one of the most ambitious urban renewal projects ever seen in Australia, providing an estimated $4.7 billion in economic benefit to Victoria as well as 5,000 jobs during construction and catering for more than 3,100 people to work on-site.
Riverlee development director, David Lee, said the milestone is significant for the community in Melbourne’s north, positioning Epping as the centre of activity in the region, following collaboration with the City of Whittlesea, state government and project partners to achieve these works.
“We are excited to be commencing Stage 1 at New Epping – a project that will play a huge role in meeting the healthcare and housing demands of this growing area. The diverse mix of housing, health and commercial uses will create a vibrant culture and community with a focus on wellness and sustainability,” Mr Lee said.
“Our vision for New Epping will take urban regeneration to a new level and bring an inner-city offering to the suburbs. The site no doubt has its challenges and we thank the state government for recognising the needs of this region by fast-tracking the work under the Building Victoria Recovery Taskforce.”
Riverlee carefully selected its project partners to ensure that New Epping would be a leader in healthcare and support services for residents, with Ramsay Health Care the largest private hospital operator in Australia and Haven; Home Safe known for its integrated approach to housing and services.
Haven; Home Safe Chair, Damien Tangey, said the Stage 1 residences are a truly collaborative partnership project which will increase the supply of safe, secure, social and affordable housing in Melbourne’s north.
“The Stage 1 residences are a sound investment in the community and demonstrates how the private and community housing sector can work with government to deliver quality forms of housing in terms of architectural design, environmental outcomes, and internal space planning,” Mr Tangey said.
The Northern Private Hospital will sit adjacent to the existing Northern Hospital and will be connected via a link bridge, becoming the only co-located private hospital in the area.
Ramsay Health Care State Manager for Victoria, Austin Wills, said Ramsay Health Care is excited to be building a new, state-of-the-art hospital to cater for the diverse health care needs of the growing community in Melbourne’s north.
“[We] look forward to playing a greater role in providing the local population with vital health care services through the construction of Northern Private Hospital. Our patients will be able to access a broad range of treatments across a multitude of specialties,” he commented.
In addition to the Stage 1 residences and the new Northern Private Hospital, the works include key supporting infrastructure including the development of the 11-hectare central green spine that will connect all components within New Epping.
Estimated completion dates for the Stage 1 residences and the Northern Private Hospital are May 2022 and December 2023, respectively.