Construction has officially commenced at Riverlee’s $2-billion New Epping project in Melbourne’s north, following the ground-breaking ceremony attended by The Hon. Richard Wynne, Minister for Housing and Minister for Planning.

A large-scale urban renewal project, New Epping has been conceptualised by Melbourne-based property group Riverlee as a masterplanned vibrant community with a focus on sustainability and wellness as well as an ambitious aim to rehabilitate, develop and transform the former Epping Quarry into a mixed use precinct featuring healthcare, residential and commercial components.

To be developed over a 10-to-15-year period on 51 hectares of land, the New Epping development is expected to provide $4.7 billion in economic benefit to Victoria and also generate 5,000 jobs during construction.

Stage 1 of the New Epping project encompasses the $133-million 126-bed Northern Private Hospital to be operated by world-leading private healthcare operator Ramsay Health Care, along with residences featuring a mix of social and affordable homes to be operated by Haven; Home, Safe.

The project positions 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, says Riverlee development director David Lee.

“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,” Lee said.

Affordable housing

The Stage 1 residences have been designed to the Better Apartment Design Standards and will meet modern design criteria. Scheduled for completion in May 2022, these homes will more than double the amount of existing affordable housing in the City of Whittlesea.

Haven; Home Safe chair Damien Tangey described the Stage 1 residences as 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 said.

Northern Private Hospital

Part of New Epping’s 7-hectare health precinct, the Northern Private Hospital will be co-located with the existing Northern Hospital – connected via a link bridge – and will deliver comprehensive medical, surgical and mental health services.

To be completed in December 2023, the new, state-of-the-art hospital will cater for the diverse healthcare needs of the growing community in Melbourne’s north, Ramsay Health Care state manager for Victoria, Austin Wills said.

“We have a 57-year history of leading the way in Australia’s private healthcare sector and look forward to playing a greater role in providing the local population with vital healthcare 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 explained.

The first phase of the New Epping project will also comprise key supporting infrastructure including the development of the 11-hectare central green spine that will connect all components within New Epping.