A 9,042 square metre site in Footscray is set to become one of the closest mixed use master planned developments to Melbourne’s CBD. Located just four kilometers from the city, the former Binks Ford car dealership site on Cowper Street was purchased by developers in 2015 as a vacant, cleared and ready-to-build block.
Planning has since been underway for the newly launched Cowper Residences, a $162 million master planned development which offers an affordable and contemporary mix of housing options, with apartments starting at $320,000.
Cowper Residences feature single and two bedroom apartments, three storey terraces and dual level SOHOs (Single Office/Home Offices) targeted at investors and the fast-growing younger market moving to the transforming suburb.
While the gentrification of inner Melbourne has seen the value of many suburbs soar in recent times, Footscray has remained relatively affordable compared to hotspots of a similar distance to the CBD, such as Richmond, Fitzroy and neighbouring Yarraville.
However, there continues to be strong indicators that this is all set to change. As part of the Victorian Government’s urban renewal plan for Melbourne, Footscray has been identified as one of six districts set to benefit from significant public investment to support employment and population growth in the area.
Foostcray’s population is expected to more than double over the next 20 years, a high proportion of which will be students and young professionals drawn to the area for its affordability and close proximity to the city, and will be looking for more diverse housing typologies.
That’s where Cowper Residences is fitting the bill. Designed by award-winning architects ClarkeHopkinsClarke, the low to medium density site will offer housing, many with city views, across four connected precincts.
“The mix of housing types throughout the precincts allowed us to really diversify the design, with each form appealing to the types of people who will want to reside there,” says Toby Lauchlan, partner at ClarkeHopkinsClarke.
Cowper Residences has also been designed to create a strong sense of place and community, with each precinct interlinked by landscaped gardens and internal laneways and a café, gym and rooftop terrace all on site.
Selling agent for Cowper Residences, F.R. Chee, says that the development is aiming to respond to the demands of the suburb’s young and fast growing market which is being drawn to the area’s affordability and vibrant and creative community.
“Almost 40 per cent of Footscray’s population is aged between 20-34 years, a trend expected to continue as more students and young professionals move to the area due to its affordability and proximity to the city,” says F.R. Chee.
“We’ve taken the opportunity to provide this market with diverse housing types that respond to the flexibility and affordability they need, and the contemporary, quality living spaces they want all within a development which feels like a community.”
“Footscray is undoubtedly going through a process of transformation and gentrification, similar to what we’ve seen in Brunswick and Collingwood, where there is now a substantially higher median sale price.
Offering investors an opportunity for capital growth and an estimated rental yield of approximately five per cent for the apartments, Cowper Residences is expected to generate strong sales.
“With central Footscray set to be transformed, it truly presents one of the last great investment opportunities in Melbourne’s inner ring suburbs,” says F.R. Chee.