Kew Residential Services Redevelopment
This $400 million major project comprises the onsite redevelopment of the former Kew Cottages site into a new integrated residential neighbourhood.
The redevelopment has provided 100 ex-Kew Residential Services (KRS) residents with intellectual disabilities with accommodation and services that meet their specific needs and aspirations, and enables them to live in an integrated community environment.
The community houses will be delivered within an overall development of approximately 380 dwellings on the site.
For around 380 ex-KRS residents, a further 73 offsite houses were previously delivered as part of the project by the Department of Human Services and the Office of Housing. These houses were completed and delivered in July 2006.
The redevelopment represents an important investment in the current and future needs of people with a disability, with all State profit from the redevelopment being invested in services for people with disabilities.
The onsite redevelopment will also provide a range of community facilities for all residents.
More than half the site will remain in public ownership. Under the approved development plan the public will have access to the extensive open space, which includes a linear park with a network of pedestrian and bike trails connecting to adjacent Yarra Bend Park.
The Victorian Government entered into a joint venture development agreement with Walker Corporation in October 2006 to deliver the community houses and private residential dwellings. The joint venture entitles the State to receive a share of the redevelopment's profits, any of which will be invested in disability services.
The site will be developed in stages, with the final stage expected to be complete in late 2014*.
Construction of stage 1 which included 20 community houses, 55 private dwellings, infrastructure and landscaping was completed in February 2009. Stages 1A, B and C were completed in April 2008.
Stage 2 construction commenced in mid 2009.
The Victorian Government/Walker Corporation partnership which delivered stage 1 of the redevelopment received the 2008 Urban Development Institute of Australia Judge’s Award for Design Excellence.
* Final completion is subject to market conditions.
2012-06-01 - No new high rises at Kew Cottages development
Plans for high rise apartment blocks at the Kew Residential Services redevelopment have been scrapped, Minister for Major Projects Denis Napthine announced today.
Initiated under the previous Labor Government in 2006, the $400 million Kew Residential Services project comprises the redevelopment of the former Kew Residential Services site into a new residential neighbourhood.
“Following extensive negotiations between the developer Walker Corporation and the Victorian Coalition Government, the developer has cancelled its proposal for apartment blocks of up to five storeys at the site,” Dr Napthine said.
“The previous Labor Government made a complete mess of this development and failed to adequately consult with the local community. This resulted in many undesirable outcomes for the community, particularly the building of high rise apartment towers.
“Kew residents, who have long campaigned against high rise apartments at this site, will be overjoyed by this result gained by the Coalition Government which will dramatically scale back the density of this development.
“In all, the overall number of dwellings on the site has been reduced by 100 to approximately 280 by this decision.
“Within the confines of the contract signed by the previous Labor Government, this is a great outcome that will reduce local traffic congestion and improve the amenity of the area.
“The developer will be submitting planning and heritage permit applications shortly and marketing will commence for the 3,240sqm final stage of the project located in the south-west corner of the site overlooking Yarra Bend Park.
“Walker Corporation has agreed to removing the apartment blocks and replacing them with eight premium quality houses, which is a much more liveable result for the local area,” Dr Napthine said.
2008-06-04 - Kew Cottages redevelopment complete
Premier John Brumby today joined former residents of Kew Residential Services, their families and friends to mark the completion the $86.5 million redevelopment of Kew Cottages.
Mr Brumby said the project, one of largest for people with a disability in Victoria’s history, would give all residents a better quality of life with their own rooms and specialised fitouts to assist carers.
“This Government is taking action to help Victorians with a disability by moving disabled people out of institutions and allowing them a more independent life” he said.
“This project is another example of our commitment to provide people with a disability the same opportunities to live in the community as other Victorians.”
In May, 2001, the Victorian Government announced the redevelopment of Kew Residential Services as part of the Victorian State Disability Plan.
At the time of the announcement Kew Residential Services was the biggest institution of its kind in Australia. Over 480 people lived on the Kew site, most in outdated accommodation, and over 700 staff worked there.
The first residents moved into new community houses in 2002 and the last residents moved into their new homes April this year.
Most residents were relocated into 73 new community houses integrated across Melbourne and regional Victoria, giving them greater choice in where they lived. The Kew site redevelopment resulted in another 20 new community houses for 100 residents that are integrated with other private residential housing on the site.
Community Services Minister Lisa Neville and Major Projects Minister Theo Theophanous joined Mr Brumby on a tour of one of the Kew community houses today.
“The job of building a new life in the community for the 480 residents of Kew Residential Services has been a massive undertaking,” Ms Neville said.
“This redevelopment is one of the most positive for people with disabilities in Victoria.
“All residents who have moved to the new community houses across Victoria now have the opportunity to be part of their communities. This is the culmination of the long-sighted vision to choose to close this outdated institution and provide better options for residents.
“The Brumby Government is committed to reinvesting all State Government profit from the redevelopment into services for people with a disability.”
Major Projects Minister Theo Theophanous said the completion of the first stage of the Kew Residential Services project represented a significant milestone.
"For the 100 ex-KRS residents who have moved into their new homes on site it means a much improved quality of life. The accommodation and the on-site facilities now available to them are worlds apart from the old Kew Cottages," Mr Theophanous said.
“The redevelopment has achieved its goal of creating a new, integrated neighbourhood with extensive open space that residents and the general public can enjoy."
2006-03-13 - Kew Residential Services project gets the green light
Residential density on the former Kew Cottages site will be substantially reduced and open space maximised under revised redevelopment plans approved by the Minister for Planning, Rob Hulls.
Under the new plans, nearly a third of the site will be landscaped open space, the existing avenues of trees and other ‘heritage’ vegetation in pocket parks and road reserves will be retained, and more than half the site will remain in public ownership.
Mr Hulls said the developer had opted for quality over quantity.
“The revised plan shows how a working partnership between the State Government, local council, developers and the community can provide a satisfactory outcome for everyone.”
“The revised plans show how appropriate accommodation and support of people with a disability can be integrated into a new residential precinct while still addressing heritage, community and environmental considerations.”
The residents will live in ‘friendship’ groupings in large, single-level community houses on large lots. The lots will be located on residential streets with family homes of comparable density and scale, rather being surrounded by higher density housing.
The wider Kew community will also benefit from a new recreation complex to be constructed and funded by the developer, Walker Corporation.
Although a Heritage Victoria permit was granted to demolish three buildings last year, the revised plans will require a new heritage application before work in the project’s later stages can commence.
“While I recognise that new heritage permits will be required, I am keen for this project’s first stages to get underway as soon as possible,” Mr Hulls said.
“The Government is looking forward to achieving an outstanding outcome on this important site.”
2005-06-03 - Redevelopment plans unveiled for Kew Cottages site
Community Services Minister, Sherryl Garbutt, today announced the redevelopment of the Kew Residential Services (KRS) site would establish a new modern housing estate featuring a community leisure centre, parkland and purpose-built housing for people with disabilities.
Unveiling the redevelopment plans, Ms Garbutt said Walker Corporation had been selected as the developer for the KRS site.
“The Government is undertaking this landmark project to shut an archaic institution and deliver a better quality of life for KRS residents in the community,” Ms Garbutt said.
This major redevelopment will provide 20 houses for 100 residents with intellectual disabilities on the KRS site. Another 73 houses are being built for 380 people with intellectual disabilities in the wider community – with 36 homes already finished and occupied.
“The new housing development on the KRS site is low-density and will provide around 520 houses and apartments – with the majority of accommodation single or two storeys only,” she said.
“People with disabilities in particular will benefit from a new $3 million community leisure centre, which features a hydrotherapy pool and consulting rooms for visiting health practitioners.
“A new linear park will also be created in the heart of the new residential estate and will link into the Yarra Bend Park to provide a recreational space for the whole community to enjoy.”
It is estimated that the Government will receive around $80 million from the land sale and the residential redevelopment. The final commercial proposal will be independently-valued by the Valuer General.
“Every cent raised from the redevelopment will go towards providing high-quality housing and support services for KRS residents and other people with a disability in the community,” Ms Garbutt said.
“This project will provide a major boost to Victoria’s economy by delivering 1600 jobs in the areas of construction and disability services.”
Ms Garbutt said currently there was no public open space on the 27-hectare site, but this plan provided approximately 27 per cent of the site for new parkland.
“The KRS development provides ample public open space and preserves the character of the local neighbourhood whilst providing much better accommodation and support for people with disabilities in the community,” she said.
Key features of the KRS redevelopment are:
- Ten hectares of the site will be used for housing up to three storeys. The majority of the housing will be single or double storey;
- Around 2.7 hectares of the site will be used for apartments, with a maximum height limit of five storeys;
- Approximately 27 per cent public open space including a linear park with a network of pedestrian and bike trails connecting to adjacent Yarra Bend Park;
- Retention of significant vegetation, avenues of trees and memorials;
- Retention of three heritage listed buildings, The Chapel, The ‘STAD’, and Unit 10; and
- A $3 million community leisure centre featuring a 25 metre lap pool, a spa, hydrotherapy pool, gymnasium, consulting rooms for health practitioners, and community facilities.
“The on-site homes for KRS residents will be single-storey with up to six people each having their own room and will be integrated into the general housing development,” Ms Garbutt said.
“Like all KRS residents moving into the community, people living on-site will receive 24-hour care and support from qualified carers.”
Around 170 KRS residents have already moved into community housing in metropolitan Melbourne and regional centres across Victoria.
“These people are thriving living in the community and are enjoying more community-based activities, greater family contact and learning more skills after years of institutional living,” Ms Garbutt said.
The Bracks Government is now proposing to preserve three buildings on the site following the heritage listing decision by Heritage Victoria earlier this year.
“It is anticipated that preserving an extra building will reduce State revenue from the redevelopment by up to $7 million,” Ms Garbutt said.
“The Government believes that the proposal to Heritage Victoria strikes the right balance between preserving the heritage values of the site and delivering better services for people with disability.”
The Department of Human Services (DHS) will apply to Heritage Victoria for a demolition permit for the other three buildings. The Department will meet with families of Kew residents who will remain living on-site about the redevelopment plans over the next week.
“Families have been consulted extensively about their relative’s care needs and their future, and this will continue,” Ms Garbutt said.
Work is expected to begin on the KRS site over coming months and continue progressively over the following seven years, with houses for KRS residents completed by the end of 2006.
The detailed redevelopment plans will be referred to Boroondara Council in the near future for comment.