$286m Springvale homemaker centre development fast-tracked

THE Government has cleared the path for the development of a $286 million homemaker centre development on Princes Highway and Westall Road, Springvale.

Visiting the site on Friday, Mr Madden announced the fast-tracking of plans to increase the number of tenancies in the centre, which will create the largest restricted retail precinct in Australia.  It is expected that around 1500 jobs will be created when the retail centre opens.

The news was welcomed by Greater Dandenong Mayor Jim Memeti, who said that "the decision to build a development of this scale in our city not only shows confidence in our local economy and our future, but also expands on Greater Dandenong's retail diversity."

The development, located away from major public transport services and existing activity centres, generally conflicts with the Melbourne 2030 metropolitan strategy, which favours development in existing activity centres (e.g. Policy 1.2). The Strategy discourages out-of-centre development as it is "harder to provide equitable access to services and facilities for all the population" and it "does not contribute to a local sense of place, and encourages people to use their cars more, thus increasing costs to the community."

However, Melbourne 2030 does provide scope for out-of-centre development to occur where it "can be convincingly demonstrated that the proposed use or development is of net benefit to the community in the region served by the proposal."

IKEA and Harvey Norman are to move into the approximately 72,000 square metre centre, which is due to commence construction shortly and estimated to be completed late next year or early 2012.  

The 35,000 square metre IKEA Springvale store will become Melbourne's second (the other being IKEA Richmond) and largest IKEA store.  A second IKEA store is also under development in Sydney, which, once built, will become Australia’s largest IKEA store with a total area of 37,000 square metres.

IKEA have future plans to open a third store in both Sydney and Melbourne and a second store in Brisbane.

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