The AUD$2 billion project to bring jobs,social housing, a major hospital and 3,000 homes 20 minutes north of the Melbourne CBD. Health and housing drive the start of construction at $2 billion New Epping masterplan

“Together with our project partners, local council and the state government, 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……”
– David Lee, Director of Development, Riverlee

From left to right: Lydia Wilson, Chair Administrator at the City of Whittlesea, Damien Tangey, Chair at Haven; Home Safe, The Hon Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning and Minister for Housing, Clement Lee OAM, Founder at Riverlee, Austin Wills, Ramsay Health Care State Manager for Victoria, Bronwyn Halfpenny MP, State Member of Parliament for Thomastown & David Lee, Development Director at Riverlee.

Construction has officially commenced at Riverlee’s $2 billion New Epping community in Melbourne’s north, marked with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by The Hon. Richard Wynne, Minister for Housing and Minister for Planning.

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 mixeduse 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 $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 says this 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.

“Together with our project partners, local council and the state government, 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.

“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,” he says. 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 says that 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,” he says.

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, says 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 have a 57-year history of leading the way in Australia’s private health care sector and 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 says.

In addition to the Stage 1 residences and the new Northern Private Hospital, the works include key supporting infrastructure including the development of the 11ha 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.

“The private sector has an important role to play in the development of more social housing for Victorians – this is an example of that partnership delivering real benefits for the community.”
– Minister for Housing Richard Wynne

More Than 150 New Social Housing Homes In Epping

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering social housing dwellings where they are needed most and connected to local infrastructure and services.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne today turned the first sod on the new multi-sector partnership that will build more than 150 social housing homes. The project will include 79 one-bedroom and 72 two-bedroom social housing homes – providing safe and secure homes for Victorians on the housing wait list.

The new homes will be situated within the New Epping development, which is delivering a 20-minute neighbourhood, enabling residents to live locally – with most daily needs within a 20-minute return walk from home complete with access to safe and local transport options. The more than 150 social housing homes are being made possible thanks to the Labor Government’s $1 billion Victorian Social Housing Growth Fund.

The dedicated fund supports innovative partnerships between the Government and community housing, private, not for profit and local government sectors. The fund is part of the Government’s record investment in housing, including the landmark Big Housing Build.

The $5.3 billion Big Housing Build will deliver more than 12,000 new homes and is the largest single investment in social and affordable housing in Australia’s history. The New Epping project is being delivered in partnership with the developer Riverlee, Whittlesea City Council, Ramsay Health and Haven Home Safe which will own and manage the social housing homes. This exciting project will generate $4.7 billion in economic benefit for Victoria as well as 5,000 local jobs during construction.

About Riverlee

Riverlee is a Melbourne based, privately owned property group specialising in development and asset ownership across the commercial, residential and retail sectors. Established in 1993 by Clement Lee, Riverlee is known for delivering visionary projects that lead the industry, both creatively and commercially, while always honouring the region’s heritage, environment and community.

New Epping
215 Cooper Street, Epping VIC 3076

About the project

New Epping is a large-scale urban renewal project in Melbourne’s north encompassing the most significant private investment in health in this region. With a focus on sustainability and wellness, Riverlee will create a masterplanned community that transforms an area that has remained undeveloped for decades.

Located in Epping, approximately 18 kilometres north of Melbourne CBD, the former 51-hectare quarry site will become a $2 billion mixed-use development. 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, spanning medical, residential and commercial uses all connected by an 11-hectare central green spine.

Set to be ‘a city within the suburbs’, it will seek innovative ways to achieve enduring sustainable outcomes through both the built form and open spaces. New Epping’s sevenhectare health precinct is underpinned by a $133 million private hospital, connecting to the existing Northern Hospital.

The health precinct will be complemented by 80,000 square metres allocated for commercial space, and a residential offering of a diverse mix of townhouses and apartments, including a mix of social and affordable housing comprising 15 per cent of the total residential stock. Some of these dwellings are already committed for delivery in Stage 1. In total, the development expects to offer approximately 2,500 new homes which will be complemented by supporting retail and community services.

Once New Epping is fully developed, more than 3,100 people are forecast to work on the site in sectors including community services, education, medical, and business. Riverlee is investing more than $1.2 billion in private capital to make New Epping possible. https://newepping.com.au/

Project value
New Epping is a $2 billion project.

Project size
New Epping will total more than 300,000 square metres of new development across 51 hectares.

Site inclusions

Housing

New Epping will cater to approximately 5,800 residents once complete. Approximately 2,500 residential homes will be developed. This includes 500 townhouses, 1,500 apartments, and 500 retirement and aged care dwellings. The Stage 1 residences include social and affordable homes to be operated by Haven; Home, Safe. Built by Hacer, these are slated for completion in May 2022. This project will more than double the amount of existing affordable housing in the City of Whittlesea.

These apartments have been designed to the Better Apartment Design Standards and will meet modern design criteria. This includes a minimum Liveable Housing Australia (LHA) silver rating, with more than half targeting Gold (certification pending). NATHERS modelling shows an average of 8.0 stars and a minimum score of 7.0 stars, with the use of energy efficient appliances, double glazing and partial rainwater collection and reuse.

The primary residential component for the western precinct is expected to launch in 2024.

Healthcare
New Epping will be home to the new $133 million Northern Private Hospital, to be operated by one of the world’s largest private healthcare operators, Ramsay Health Care.

The 126-bed hospital will deliver comprehensive medical, surgical and mental health services, with specialties such as general medicine, cardiology, orthopaedics, general surgery, gynaecology and gastroenterology. Linked via a bridge to the existing Northern Hospital, a truly co-located public and private hospital will be developed.

The Northern Private Hospital will be part of New Epping’s seven-hectare health precinct, making it the most significant private investment in health in Melbourne’s north. New Epping’s health precinct will provide the vital services and infrastructure needed to cater to the rapid growth within the northern catchment over the next decade and will greatly lessen the pressure on existing facilities. The hospital will be complete in late 2023.

Commercial

80,000 square metres of lettable commercial space will generate local employment opportunities.

Environmental

Riverlee is committing 11 hectares of new parks and waterways and protected habitats at New Epping. The historic quarry hole will be transformed into a new lake. As the site encompasses the Edgars Creek corridor, Riverlee will protect the creek and enhance environmental values and conservation, including the protected Growling Grass Frog.

Current project phase
Following a successful rezoning of the site in August 2020, New Epping has been fasttracked under the State Government’s Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce (BVRT), with $194 million of work given the green light. This includes a $133 million, 126-bed private hospital operated by Ramsay Health Care, as well as social and affordable homes to by operated by Haven; Home Safe, funded via round 1 of the Social Housing Growth Fund (SHGF), alongside key supporting infrastructure.

Proposed timeframes
New Epping has a 10-15-year construction lifespan with indicative timeframes as follows:

  • March 2021 – Construction officially commences (for the fast-tracked Stage 1 residences and hospital components of the development)
  • June 2021 – Hospital commencement Q4 2021–Edgars Creek works commence (timing pending approvals)
  • April 2022 – First park completed
  • May 2022 – Stage 1 residences complete
  • Q3 2022 – Edgars Creek works complete (timing pending approvals) Late 2023 – Hospital completion

Project stages
• Stage1 – 2021–2023
• Edgars Creek Corridor – 2021–2023 Stage 2 – 2024–2027
• Stage 3 – 2024–2029
• Stage 4– 2030–2035

Economic benefits
New Epping will provide $4.7 billion in economic benefits to Victoria and will generate:
• Up to 1,600 construction industry jobs
• Up to 1,500 indirect jobs during construction
• Up to 3,700 new jobs generated on completion

The delivery of the private hospital and affordable housing projects in Stage 1 will see the creation of 720 construction jobs and 220 ongoing jobs, which will help to revitalise the local economy post the COVID-1 pandemic.

Site context
New Epping is located approximately 18 kilometres north of Melbourne CBD and is the site of a former quarry. Completing the missing piece of Epping, Riverlee is regenerating a site that has been dormant for approximately 30 years, unlocking 11 hectares of green space and 39 hectares of prime development land.

The site is strategically nestled between many of Epping’s heavyweights and anchors:
• The Northern Hospital, Pacific Epping Shopping Centre, and Costco to the East;
• North Point Business Park and Bunnings to the North;
• The Melbourne Wholesale Food and Vegetable Market to the West;
• Residential interface to the South.
industry, both creatively and commercially, while always honouring the region’s heritage, environment and community.