Ten minutes from Melbourne CBD, in the leafy inner north-west, Kensington is known today for its heritage terraces, café culture and family-friendly lifestyle.
Rewind 30 or so years, though, and the suburb was defined by its industrial prosperity, a hub of manufacturing that gave people jobs at the saleyards, wool store, flour mill and railways. The pockets of light manufacturing and warehouses are a reminder of that bustling local economy.
Impact Investment Group (IIG) is leading a next wave of rejuvenation with its new boutique development, Younghusband, a beautiful industrial village in the old Younghusband wool store on Elizabeth Street.
“Kensington has become an inspiring mecca for makers and thinkers,” IIG’s Development Manager, James Fitzgerald, said.
“A combination of amenity, feel and location are making smart insiders choose Kensington over Melbourne’s CBD.
The Younghusband development will include 6,000sq m of boutique office space across three levels, as well as various food and beverage spaces between 24sq m and 770sq m, studio spaces between 100 and 1,500sq m, and retail spaces between 29sq m and 360sq m.
“We’re helping the next wave of business for Melbourne,” Mr Fitzgerald, said.
“More and more people are looking for purpose in their work and Younghusband provides for this renewed drive.”
Impact Investing Model
IIG has employed an “impact investing” model to combine the best of capital and values-based investment principles to create a triple bottom line in solid financial, social and environmental returns.
“We're working with industry-leading environmentally sustainable design specialists to recognise our vision to become Victoria’s first carbon and water neutral adaptive reuse precinct,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“That's the long-term goal. Right now, we're working with Younghusband's astounding heritage, not against it; we're minimising embodied energy by restoring the existing fabric and materials, and eking out each last possible bit of environmental performance along the way.”
The first stage of the wool store rejuvenation will retain and reuse the existing structure and fabric; zoned areas of the building to reduce energy use for heating and cooling; a new 442 kilowatt photovoltaic system to generate a significant amount of the energy required for the two buildings; energy-efficient services in the form of low temperature variable air volume HVAC, and organic response LED lighting; increased roof insulation and new double-glazed windows, improving the thermal performance; retention and reuse of as much rainwater as possible, with a future-proofed plumbing system to take advantage of treated rainwater for use in toilets, landscaping, and showers; a zero waste strategy; and a green travel plan.
“We've got a lot locked in now, but we're also staying flexible to accommodate new technology, and to connect up with precinct-wide systems in later stages of the project,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
Interest from co-working and education
Savills Office Leasing's Mathew Kent, Mark Rasmussen and Charlie Betts have been appointed to lease the office space in conjunction with Cushman & Wakefield’s Ben McKendry and Vincent Tran.
The Savills leasing team had received overwhelming interest from the co-working and education sectors, as well as major corporates.
We believe this redevelopment to be world-class, offering tenants a range of amenity, community-minded and environmentally driven ambitions, and a working environment that is truly inspirational.
Younghusband opens its doors to tenants and their employees as a truly mixed-use precinct that is only three kilometres from the CBD and connected by four railways stations, including the currently under-development Arden Street station, which will link Melbourne’s western fringe to the CBD and eastern suburbs.
Stage one construction on Younghusband commences in August, with the first leases due to start between June and October 2019.