The development of University Hill focused on creating employment opportunities driven by retail, affordable industrial and office space, and the development of technology and knowledge-based business opportunities in close proximity to RMIT, creating an employment hub to Melbourne’s north. MAB Corporation combined the above with a mixed use masterplan to foster their vision of “a living, working community that strikes a balance between lifestyle, retail, community, business and the environment”. Delivering on this vision has attracted a number of international and national brands that have consequently attracted a good mix of medical, finance, construction, engineers and business consultants, “including having just reached its target of 3,000 jobs in 2015 and now revising this to 4,000”.
The success of University Hill has been accredited to the consistency of MAB’s project team having a shared vision and flexible development process. MAB could be flexible with the masterplan as they had confidence that council was supporting the project and it would be a fairly straightforward approval process. This flexibility enabled the development to change, grow and survive the early stages where there was very little medium- and high-density residential living provided.
With retail being key to the success of the development, MAB Corporation conducted a study in to the most successful outlet store locations. From their research they found they needed to extend the retail to the appropriate scale and tenant mix, and they adjusted University Hill accordingly.
University Hill has many large retailers yet appropriate sized streets and footpaths, street planting, outdoor dining and artwork, especially along the main street, to maintain an intimate scale which contributes to a welcoming environment.