$98 million win for Community
As 'gaps' in residential development have been gradually filled, development sites in Knox have become relatively scarce. However creative thinking can bring exciting new opportunities. Council has recently signed an agreement with a private developer to build 'Waterford' a $98 million complex to be located on 40 hectares of unused land.
It will provide high quality retirement living for hundreds of Knox residents, as well as an 18 hole public golf course for the entire community. The land, which remained undeveloped until now due to its propensity to flooding, is being developed using cut and fill techniques to manage the site's sensitive environmental and floodway characteristics. The developer is Prime-Life Corp Ltd.
Excavation will create lake and wetland areas as well as flood mitigation. Soil from the excavation will be redistributed to build the foundation for flood safe residential and recreation areas.
Director City Development John Knaggs said the issue of what to do with the site had been a problem for some years. "It would have been too costly and too difficult to develop in the past," he said.
"The hydrology needs to be precise and is subject to the approval of Melbourne Water". He said Council has managed the process and orchestrated the outcomes to create a commercially viable proposition.
"We are pleased to see a public asset develop on this site," he said. "It is being developed and managed in a way that respects the important environmental criteria which come attached to the land, and it adds greatly to the amenity of Knox."
Council will retain ownership of the golf course land, with the site being adapted and developed under a long term lease. It will be built in three to four stages over the next two years.
Due to commence this month, the landscaped development will ultimately include 450 retirement units, a bowling green, tennis courts, and a four star hotel and convention centre.
Residents will enjoy a host of features not usually associated with retirement villages. These include an indoor swimming pool, personal golf buggies for use on the course and the option of fully serviced apartments. Lake views will constitute the outlook from almost all the village's independent living units.