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Editions

Topping off a great concept

28 May 2009

Topping off a great concept Image

Lend Lease’s The Merchant apartment block was “topped off” last month with a ceremony at Victoria Harbour.

Four of the eight storeys have been set aside as affordable housing for “key workers” like Rachel Box, 23, who is a graduate nurse at St Vincents Private Hospital.

Rachel (pictured) earns less than $40,000 and currently commutes from Box Hill.

When The Merchant opens early next year, Rachel is hoping to rent one of the 57 apartments which were bought by Melbourne Affordable Housing.

“It would be great.  I could ride my bike to work,” she said.

At the “topping off” ceremony, the Minister for Housing, Richard Wynne, said the affordable housing component of the development made The Merchant unique in Australia.

He said the fact that the rest of the block had sold out was evidence that the commercial market had accepted the concept.

“It’s an argument for inclusionary zoning,” he said. “The market has said it is a good concept.”

Mr Wynne said The Merchant was a turning point in the way residential developments would be approached in the future.

“It’s a fantastic thing that Lend Lease has done here,” he said.

David Hutton, CEO of Lend Lease Retail and Communities, said the collective goal of all partners was to see Victoria Harbour evolve into a vibrant community, full of energy for all who live, work and visit there.

“The success of The Merchant is just one example of how we are jointly working together to ensure opportunities to enrich the Docklands precinct are capitalised on,” he said.

VicUrban CEO Pru Sanderon said it was essential that Docklands consisted of a diverse range of people from all walks of life to assist its transition to a true Melbourne community.”

“Partnerships such as this play a key role in realising the vision for Docklands and we are seeking to work with other developers to identify additional, appropriate affordable living initiatives for this area,” Ms Sanderson said.

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