CBD from the creek trail south of Meridian. April 6, 2015.

Regarding Dandenong

Featured

150 Years of the Journal
Dandenong Journal (18 Aug 2015)

Read on Dandenong Journal →
RD: I was remiss last week in not pointing to The Journal's 150th anniversary special edition. It was fantastic — it provides a really great historical context for both the paper and the city. I highly recommend checking it out. Read more...

A Rank Ranking Rankles
Regarding Dandenong: Blog (9 Nov 2015)

The Age ran a feature on Saturday on suburb liveability.

The Case for Relocating VicRoads to Dandenong
Regarding Dandenong: Blog (30 Dec 2014)

I only just discovered that the previous Liberal government had proposed relocating VicRoads to Ballarat back in March.

The Gateway Park Proposal
Regarding Dandenong: Blog (24 Sep 2014)

Cr Peter Brown has suggested recently using the undeveloped south-side of the railway as a gateway park.

Lobby to stop levy
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (24 Jul 2015)

The State Government is being called to scrap a developers' levy which is designed to recoup the cost of the Revitalising Central Dandenong project. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: Well, about time! (I think I'm justified in saying that after 8 years.) The levy was an interesting and risky idea when the Revitalising project kicked off. Interesting because it showed a lot of faith in the whole project. Risky because you put taxes (levies) on things you want to discourage (you know, things like emitting carbon). And you make people pay it up front when you really want to discourage something. That's the complete opposite of what (you would think) was desired here.

Economics 101 tells you that since the market was already setting the price of development, and development wasn't happening at that price (that was the whole point of revitalisation), adding a tax on top of things was only going to work if people thought the State Government's initiatives were so spectacularly brilliant that they would compensate for the tax and then some. Turns out nobody thought that. Developers did buy in initially, but underlying demand was weak — perhaps because most people who lived here viewed the revitalisation as intangible and unrealistic, and people who didn't live here didn't believe anything of interesting was going on here. All of which turned out to be self-fulfilling!

We learnt this information really early on, so the tax should have disappeared really early on. According to the article, it did disappear — for specific, government-linked clients. For everyone else, it didn't. Who knows how that cost us? Hopefully business manager Paul Kearsley, and hopefully he can communicate that well enough to the State Government to get this clearly perverse disincentive removed.
Read more...

Updates

First Indian Precinct Finds A Home With Second On The Way
premier.vic.gov.au (3 Dec 2015)

Dandenong will be home to Victoria’s first ever Indian Cultural Precinct, with the Andrews Labor Government further announcing a second Precinct in the works for Melbourne’s west. Read on premier.vic.gov.au →
RD: There will be two Indian precincts, one in Dandenong (which we should not forget already exists! ) and one in Wyndham. Each will get $500K (for now? for all time?), which I gather means the existence of two precincts has required a split in the total pool of $1M of funding.

This is neither good news nor bad news. On the positive side, Dandenong's organically evolved Little India won't be overshadowed by a government-driven initiative located elsewhere. On the other hand, it seems highly unlikely that any particularly extensive or useful changes will come out of this for the precinct, unless the funding amount increases substantially at some point. As things stand, much more is being spent on the Afghan precinct, and that unfolded without any hype and fanfare from the state government.

So, in the end, this announcement is no real announcement at all for Little India. In reality, it all depends on what actions the government actually takes to improve Little India. And if a large stream of government funding heads Wyndham's way in future, with no corresponding funding for Dandenong's precinct, we'll know that this was all just smoke and mirrors to avoid angering the Little India traders. But let's not be too cynical! Read more...

Four more level crossings earmarked for removal
theage.com.au (29 Nov 2015)

Four more level crossings, at Sydenham, Dandenong South, Lyndhurst and Williamstown North, have been flagged for removal as Premier Daniel Andrews marked his first year in office. Read on theage.com.au →
RD: The crossings in this area are Abbotts Road and Thompsons Road. I believe the latter was already planned (but perhaps not committed) as part of the Thompsons Road duplication. Read more...

Junction jam
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (28 Nov 2015)

Notorious ‘spaghetti junction’ chaos set for safety shake-up… Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: This is about the Princes Hwy, Springvale Rd junction of course. One of the ideas mentioned is a giant roundabout. While I'm sure it would involve lots of intelligent signalling and whatnot, this still sounds highly comical for such a huge intersection. Read more...

Wedge blow
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (28 Nov 2015)

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has stated he has no “appetite” to support Greater Dandenong’s desire for more than 400 hectares in Keysborough and Bangholme to be removed from the green wedge. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: This is a really bad idea. There may be some short term benefit to doing this, but absolutely no long term benefit. I would much prefer to see all of this land turned into high environmental quality green wedge land. Read more...

Armada in pole position for centre
theaustralian.com.au (26 Nov 2015)

Property group Armada Funds Management, with the backing of a major Middle Eastern fund, is in the box seat to buy a sub-regional shopping centre in Dandenong, in outer Melbourne, from GPT Group for more than $200 million. Read on theaustralian.com.au →
RD: (Paywall alert! ) It looks to me as though Armada is focused mostly on asset management, and may not be very ambitious in terms of development, which would be disappointing. However, it's very hard to tell. Read more...

Keep suburb's heart intact plea
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (23 Nov 2015)

Community input could stop Noble Park grade separations from destroying the suburb’s heart, according to City of Greater Dandenong. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: It would be a complete disaster if they chose rail over road for Heatherton Road, and I don't believe anyone even mildly familiar with the area would even consider the possibility. Read more...

Premier Andrews wants federal government to pay for half of Monash upgrade
theage.com.au (22 Nov 2015)

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called on the Turnbull government to cough up half the cash for the $400 million Monash freeway upgrade that will see the road grow to 10 lanes. Read on theage.com.au →
RD: This looks to be only a couple of years away, and will happen at the same time as the level crossing removals. Read more...

Construction Going Strong At Quest Dandenong Central
theurbandeveloper.com (20 Nov 2015)

Quest Apartment Hotels has commenced construction on the $25m development of Quest Dandenong Central, part of Australia’s second largest renewal project – the $290m Revitalising Central Dandenong initiative. Read on theurbandeveloper.com →
RD: A progress update on Quest. No news or hints of anything new, but a reasonable recap. Read more...

Open letter to Mr Monopoly
greaterdandenong.com (14 Nov 2015)

Congratulations on the release of your latest game Melbourne Monopoly, it is sure to be a hit with local families this Christmas, however we noticed that Melbourne’s south east has not even rated a mention. Read on greaterdandenong.com →
RD: A very cute letter. Perhaps the south east didn't make it on to the board because we're not wealthy enough. To be honest, I think there's some truth in that, but it has nothing to do with questionable deals. Read more...

Premier primed for showcase
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (13 Nov 2015)

PREMIER Daniel Andrews has put his support behind a manufacturing super showcase which is set to stop traffic in Dandenong next May. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: Not sure if the proposal to "close the main street" is serious or not, but I'd be very interested to see how things work if it does happen. Read more...

The Village Open For Business
theurbandeveloper.com (13 Nov 2015)

A major retail hub at Cbus Property’s Estate One development in Dandenong South is open for business following a successful leasing campaign. Read on theurbandeveloper.com →
RD: It's a pretty nice retail area, still being fitted out. The superlatives in the article are over-the-top, but definitely a solid asset for the Estate One area. Read more...

Victoria's Top Planning Projects For 2015
theurbandeveloper.com (11 Nov 2015)

The 2015 Victorian Awards for Planning Excellence have been announced, shining the limelight on projects in regional Victoria. Read on theurbandeveloper.com →
RD: Wonderful, an award for Harmony Square (or the Civic Centre, if that's not merely the old name for it). Now, I always thought regional referred to non-capital areas of Melbourne, but it also includes not just Dandenong, but the city of Melbourne as well. Read more...

A Rank Ranking Rankles
Regarding Dandenong: Blog (9 Nov 2015)

The Age ran a feature on Saturday on suburb liveability.

Old offices go for civic space plan
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (5 Nov 2015)

Demolition is now well underway at the former Greater Dandenong Council offices in Springvale.

Councillors have voted Cr Heang Tak as the new mayor
facebook.com/greaterdandenong (5 Nov 2015)

Councillors have voted Cr Heang Tak as the new Mayor of Greater Dandenong.

Long arm of the law reaches 110 years
mk.com.au (4 Nov 2015)

One of Dandenong's oldest businesses turns 110 this month. Read on mk.com.au →
RD: M+K Lawyers has been around for an impressively long time. (Image is of the Royal Hotel, where Jeffrey Macpherson would meet his clients back when the practice started in 1905.) Read more...

More lanes on the Monash?
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (29 Oct 2015)

Additional lanes on the Monash Freeway are being considered by the State Government and CityLink operator Transurban, but the details are still sketchy. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: I think 3 lanes each way would be a great help between the South Gippsland Freeway and Clyde Road, but I'm not at all sure about 5 lanes each way between that freeway and Eastlink. I figure if you're even contemplating 5 lanes each way, you've spectacularly messed up the urban design somewhere along the way, so it's a sign you need to have a rethink.

Incidentally, it looks like the capacity of a freeway lane is about 2300 cars per hour. (So, being very generous, maybe 4000 passengers per hour.) Not only do those cars have to come from and go to somewhere (thereby adding traffic at the sources and destinations, which of course won't get any capacity upgrades), the contrast with rail capacity is stark: improvements to the Dandenong Rail Line would allow for an extra 11,000 passengers per hour.

I seem to be a bit unusual in that I like roads (though clean and quiet cars need to happen ASAP), but as I said, once you're contemplating 5 lanes each way, it's time for a complete rethink. Read more...

229 Thomas Street
Regarding Dandenong: Places (28 Oct 2015)

In a recent ad for Spectra apartments, there is an (unexpected) render of the renovations to the old health service building next door. It's looking very colourful.

Logis Eco Industrial Park, Dandenong
gbla.com.au (27 Oct 2015)

Logis Eco Industrial Park is a 154-hectare award winning masterplanned industrial development at Dandenong. Read on gbla.com.au →
RD: Some info and pictures of the parks in the Logis North estate from the landscape designers. These parks are looking quite nice. What caught my eye in these pictures, though, is the plan for the artificial hill in the south-west corner of the estate. I've seen it many times driving past, but had no idea what it was. Great to know it will be possible to climb it at some point, as I imagine it will have some decent views, particularly of the growing city. Read more...

The changing face of Springvale
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (22 Oct 2015)

Springvale's streetscape is set for a shake-up.

Plan Melbourne refresh discussion paper
refresh.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au (22 Oct 2015)

The discussion paper has been prepared to promote discussion of options with stakeholders, experts and the community. Read on refresh.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au →
RD: This is an update to the existing Plan Melbourne that was released last year. Not a lot that (uniquely) affects Dandenong has changed. The main proposed change is that the "South" be dropped from the "Dandenong South Employment Cluster", so as to include employment opportunities within the Dandenong CBD. In theory, this could have a major impact — however, it's not clear to me what effect the "employment cluster" designation has on how things unfold. Read more...

Quality care wins award
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (19 Oct 2015)

Dandenong Hospital Emergency Department has been named Australasia’s best.

Spectra Apartments Tender
estimateone.com (19 Oct 2015)

Spectra Apartments is a construction tender in the field listed within EstimateOne. Read on estimateone.com →
RD: Don't expect to find any information at the link (these tender sites are all very protective of their data). Anyway, Spectra has gone to tender! An important step on the way to it actually becoming a thing. Read more...

Follow me to Oppenheim Way
egopharm.com (17 Oct 2015)

We’re so proud to share with you the future of Ego with the development of our new global headquarters at 6 Oppenheim Way. Read on egopharm.com →
RD: It's a video of the offices. They seem quite large. Read more...

Dandenong Park Demolition Project
greaterdandenong.com (14 Oct 2015)

(See Section 2. 6.5) This report seeks approval to proceed with the demolition of the Stan Prior Sound Shell, the Bowls Club and the Kindergarten located at Dandenong Park. Read on greaterdandenong.com →
RD: It's going to be very sad to see these go, particularly the sound shell, since my family had a connection with Stan Prior. I do think it's the right thing for the park, though. I really hope the new bridge, new performance area and creek remediation is done very soon (i.e. in the next budget cycle). Read more...

New Global Headquarters Delivers 200 Jobs For Victoria
premier.vic.gov.au (14 Oct 2015)

Industry Minister Lily D’Ambrosio has turned the first sod for construction of a $135 million dollar global headquarters for Australia’s largest locally-owned pharmaceutical company in Dandenong south. Read on premier.vic.gov.au →
RD: Photo from this tweet. Logis North is being filled in very quickly. Read more...

Carols home in on Harmony
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (12 Oct 2015)

Dandenong Carols by Candlelight is moving to Harmony Square. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: They'll be trialling it this year, and will see how it goes. More events in the square are welcome, though the Carols also worked quite nicely at the park. Read more...

Dandenong CEO John Bennie to become council’s longest serving boss
heraldsun.com.au (12 Oct 2015)

This may be John Bennie’s 40th year in local government, but it is the next four-and-a-half years which really excites the City of Greater Dandenong chief executive. Read on heraldsun.com.au →
RD: The article mentions that John Bennie believes the focus of revitalisation efforts needs to shift to the Springvale activity centre for the next four years. I worry that the revitalisation of Dandenong has yet to prove itself self-sustaining, evidenced by the lack of even a single major private project being completed within the city centre. As such, I believe it's a bit premature to be shifting focus. Read more...

79 Ann Street
Regarding Dandenong: Places (11 Oct 2015)

3 storey proposal, sold for $745K.

Glen Waverley tower Galleria sells 100 apartments in 90 minutes
domain.com.au (11 Oct 2015)

Developers pocketed more than $70 million in just 90 minutes in Glen Waverley on Saturday morning, as hundreds of buyers jostled inside a display suite for the chance to secure an off-the-plan apartment. Read on domain.com.au →
RD: Apartment developments take minutes to sell in Glen Waverley and forever to sell in Dandenong. Both make little sense. Read more...

Victoria's largest fire station opens
news.cfa.vic.gov.au (11 Oct 2015)

CFA’s busiest fire station is officially opening its new home in Dandenong which is now the biggest fire station in Victoria.

Schooled in building design
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (6 Oct 2015)

Dandenong's Mosaic apartment complex is being used as a benchmark for future developers. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: Curious. There's plenty of good candidate developments closer to RMIT, so why head out this way? Read more...

GPT places valuable Dandenong Centre on market
afr.com (29 Sep 2015)

GPT Group has placed its $200 million Dandenong Centre in Victoria for sale, in what could be the third-largest mall transaction in 2015. Read on afr.com →
RD: A little bit more info available this time. Read more...

2 Walker Street
Regarding Dandenong: Places (28 Sep 2015)

The Quest development will be getting an extra 2 levels, bringing the total floor count to 8. Sadly, they appear to be carpark levels. (From urban.melbourne.)

GPT places valuable Dandenong Centre on market
afr.com (25 Sep 2015)

GPT Group is selling its $200 million Dandenong Centre in Victoria, in what could be the third-largest mall transaction in 2015. Read on afr.com →
RD: The details of the sale are behind a ransom-wall, so I don't know any more than this sentence. However, this has been on the cards for a while. Read more...

Cabcharge acquires Dandenong Taxis
couriermail.com.au (25 Sep 2015)

Taxi payments company Cabcharge has taken over Dandenong Taxis in south-east Melbourne, after the consumer watchdog decided not to stand in the way of the acquisition. Read on couriermail.com.au →
RD: Aw, that's a bit boring. Read more...

219 Thomas Street (Spectra)
Regarding Dandenong: Places (18 Sep 2015)

A new render or two of Spectra looking quite nice. Note the building next door is being renovated and has acquired an extra two stories.

Journal's story hits the big screen
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (18 Sep 2015)

The Dandenong Journal’s 150th anniversary celebrations continue this week with the screening of a video commissioned to mark the historic occasion.

Labor puts brakes on port rail project that would take 3500 trucks off road
thecourier.com.au (18 Sep 2015)

A project that would replace 3500 container trucks a day with just 28 freight trains, potentially halving port-based truck traffic and slashing pollution levels from heavy vehicles, has been shelved by the Andrews government until it leases Melbourne's port. Read on thecourier.com.au →
RD: Not liking much of the Andrews government's approach to things that affect us so far. Read more...

Opposition backs Little India
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (10 Sep 2015)

Opposition leader Matthew Guy has slammed the State Government for looking outside of Little India in Dandenong to establish the state’s premier Indian precinct. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: No disagreement here. Little India is woven tightly into Dandenong's identity. I can only hope the government doesn't decide to strip our identity apart. Read more...

Bus route would be just the ticket
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (4 Sep 2015)

Waiting for a bus isn’t usually a years-long task. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: I'm always puzzled by these kinds of planning failures. I imagine it's either due to an area falling through the gaps, or more cynically, a more deliberate consequence of an inappropriate prioritisation of funding. Read more...

Down memory lanes
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (4 Sep 2015)

The stories behind Dandenong’s laneway names are now on display for their visitors to see. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: I'm hoping this can be rolled out everywhere in the CBD, with each street being branded more strongly. I'd particularly like to see Lonsdale Street being branded more strongly than it currently is. Read more...

Dandy Pig celebrated in Australia Post stamp
greaterdandenong.com (4 Sep 2015)

Australia Post is celebrating three heritage-listed iconic signs from the golden age of neon advertising in Australia with the release of a new stamp issue, which features Dandenong's iconic Dandy Pig.

219 Thomas Street (Spectra)
Regarding Dandenong: Places (25 Aug 2015)

Again, realestate. com.au ad with 20 storeys, this time with picture of facade. (But facade is only 17 storeys.)

Refreshing Regarding Dandenong
Regarding Dandenong: Blog (23 Aug 2015)

This site is just over 4 years old, and I now have a better idea of how I use and update it, so a slight refresh is in order.

196 Foster Street East
Regarding Dandenong: Places (23 Aug 2015)

Permit for 3 storey/9 apartments refused

3 MacPherson Street
Regarding Dandenong: Places (23 Aug 2015)

Permit for 3 storey/6 apartments refused

A Safe and Harmonious Greater Dandenong 2015-22
greaterdandenong.com (22 Aug 2015)

(See Section 2. 6.1) The aims of the [Community Safety Plan] are to improve actual safety, community perceptions of safety and reduce the risks of crime and anti-social behaviour. Read on greaterdandenong.com →
RD: It's very important to get this right, because I suspect that this more than anything else at the moment is impeding the city's ability to make progress. Read more...

Rate Capping and Variation Framework
greaterdandenong.com (22 Aug 2015)

(See Section 2. 6.5) As part of the process to implement a rate capping and variation framework, the Essential Services Commission (ESC) committed to a two stage consultation process. Read on greaterdandenong.com →
RD: Thankfully, the proposed cap is not entirely based on CPI (60/40 CPI/wage index), but it's still awfully silly. Read more...

Comment: The Dandenong line and quadruplication
urban.melbourne (21 Aug 2015)

There are a few outstanding metropolitan strategic planning issues that need to be sorted before any Government commits to expanding the Dandenong rail corridor over and beyond already announced projects. Read on urban.melbourne →
RD: I don't expect quadruplication any time soon, regardless of which form it takes, or which government is in power. At best I think we can hope that the level crossings removal program makes it easy to lay the extra tracks when needed. Read more...

150 Years of the Journal
Dandenong Journal (18 Aug 2015)

Read on Dandenong Journal →
RD: I was remiss last week in not pointing to The Journal's 150th anniversary special edition. It was fantastic — it provides a really great historical context for both the paper and the city. I highly recommend checking it out. Read more...

Spectra (219 Thomas Street)
realestate.com.au (18 Aug 2015)

Introducing the Spectra Residences, 108 architecturally designed apartments over 14 levels & rising 20 storeys above street level will make Spectra the tallest residential building in Dandenong. Read on realestate.com.au →
RD: Apparently, Spectra just got a little bit more ambitious. It's now 108 apartments (up from 96) and 20 storeys (up from 17). I assume the basic external design will remain the same, but perhaps tellingly, there's no pic of it here. Read more...

Regional plan joint effort
mpnews.com.au (18 Aug 2015)

Councils have decided there is strength in numbers with the launch of a South East Melbourne Group of Councils regional plan to push the region’s case for business investment, jobs and more education opportunities. Read on mpnews.com.au →
RD: It's good to see some coordination amongst the councils in the south east. Read more...

22 Wilma Ave
Regarding Dandenong: Places (14 Aug 2015)

Apartments for sale on 22 Wilma Ave. Pretty straightforward design based on the sketch, but that can often work out OK.

Why Lonsdale Street is a Role Model for Urban Projects Around the World
landarchs.com (14 Aug 2015)

Modern cities with interesting architecture and good infrastructure still have problems with green spaces. Read on landarchs.com →
RD: Nice article, though a little odd. The author seems overly ebullient about what's been achieved. Read more...

Shisha plan doused
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (12 Aug 2015)

Greater Dandenong councillors have rejected a proposed shisha lounge in Lonsdale Street declaring it could be illegal under the Tobacco Act. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: Interesting move, though this kind of decision was flagged a little while back. In some sense, this is an example of shooting ourselves in the foot — the extra activity in that area would be fantastic. But, if the health implications of Shisha are as indicated (I'm not at all familiar with it), then it's the right decision. Read more...

Bunjil Place a boon for Melbourne's south east
urban.melbourne (11 Aug 2015)

A construction tender is now open for Bunjil Place, City of Casey's initiative to create "A unique cultural, community and civic facility that will be a centerpiece for Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs". Read on urban.melbourne →
RD: Still undecided if this is good or bad for Dandenong. What I do know is that it's been done without considering the context of the region. Read more...

All together for service
dandenong.starcommunity.com.au (3 Aug 2015)

The new Ermha headquarters is more than an office space — it’s a community. Read on dandenong.starcommunity.com.au →
RD: It's also a community that's moved to Estate One from the Dandenong CBD. In the short term, Estate One seems to be competition for the town centre, but hopefully over the (not too much) longer term it will be an asset. Read more...

69-71 McCrae Street
realestate.com.au (28 Jul 2015)

Be quick! And pick either a single or double bedroom from this three-storey luxury apartment complex in Central Dandenong! Read on realestate.com.au →
RD: This looks 4 storey from the picture. Can't find anything about it in the planning register. 70% sold. Nice design, but let's hope the final version looks as nice. Read more...

Revitalising Central Dandenong Thread
urban.melbourne (25 Jul 2015)

Read on urban.melbourne →
RD: Picture of initial works at Quest, as well as ATO. I love how the ATO building is looking. Read more...