Development transforms strip

 

www.rachaeldere.comThe arrival of new Melbourne shopping destination, Emporium, which last month celebrated its grand opening, has done little to help the city’s struggling suburban shopping strips.

Highett Rd strip in Highett in Melbourne’s south east, is bucking this trend, experiencing traffic growth as a result of a redevelopment it underwent last year.

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Since its completion, the rejuvenated streetscape is bringing people back to the suburbs, and breathing new life into a once desolate area.

The Highett mixed use development, on the corner of Highett and Graham roads, was designed by architects ClarkeHopkinsClarke, to fill a vacant site, which was acting as a disconnect between either end of the strip.

The site is right next to the train line, separating one end of the main shopping strip from the other.

“The development was to create a Woolworths and activate the street frontage,” said Toby Lauchlan, architect at ClarkeHopkinsClarke.

“Another positive flow on effect is the overall safety and security of residents accessing the train station, and the retail strip at various times of the day.”

Since the redevelopment, locals now have easy access to restaurants, cafes, banks, fashion, and essential services.

“It’s not a Chapel St style retail strip and it’s quite small, but it’s got a good catchment size, and we’re going from a benchmark that a lot of the shopping strip was just vacant land, so we’ve suddenly rejuvenated it in that sense,” he said.

www.rachaeldere.com

The space began as a market garden in the 1920s, becoming a warehouse facility for building bomber planes in the 1940s, before being abandoned and left vacant.

“Rejuvenating streetscapes which are seen in disrepair in suburban Melbourne is about creating vibrant communities, and injecting much needed life through design.”

The architects worked closely with the local community to create the socially activated mall and streetscape.

2013 UDIA Vic Awards_Highett Mixed Use_01

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