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This Sustainably-Renovated Apartment Building Is Designed Just For Renters
Applications are now open for Park Street by Milieu — an innovative project in Melbourne designed especially for renters.
What was previously a tired 1970s motel spanning two buildings has been transformed by a dream team of like minded collaborators into 17 apartments now for lease in Brunswick.
Park Street was created in response to the shortage of rental housing in Melbourne. Milieu saw potential to purchase an under-utilised building in a sought-after area and convert this into apartments for lease.
Managing director of Milieu Michael McCormack explains, ‘We wanted to develop a project that catered to a market that our build to sell projects are not servicing, while highlighting that there is life in these old buildings and a smarter way to think about what to do with them. These old blocks are often in great locations and the floor plans are typically better than many new projects developed these days.’
The ‘renovate to rent’ model showcases the potential of these older buildings while being more environmentally and financially sustainable than developing entirely new housing projects.
‘We are able to deliver these apartments to the rental market at a significantly faster rate compared to new builds. Construction at Park Street has taken just four months compared to a new build that can take up to two years just for the construction period,’ says Michael.
Leading sustainable architecture firm Breathe Architecture designed the renovated apartments that include new kitchens, flooring, lighting, fittings, and fixtures to meet the needs of today’s renters.
The joyful interior palette comprises natural cork flooring, mosaic tiled splash backs, and walnut stained timber joinery. Apartments in the West Side building feature orange doors and surfaces, while the East Side building heroes lime green.
Milieu worked with Goodbye Gas to make Park Street a fully-electric building featuring energy efficient heating and cooling and induction cooktops. Tenants will also be offered 100% GreenPower at a competitive rate from Momentum Energy.
The apartments are surrounded by significant new landscaping brought to life by Acre. ‘We removed a substantial amount of concrete that ran between the two buildings,’ says Michael. ‘In its place, we’ve created internal pathways, constructed seats from repurposed bricks and incorporated native planting.’
Shared amenities of Park Street include a barbecue and entertaining space, laundry rooms, clothes lines, vegetable gardens, bike storage, open air walkways, and sprawling lawns among native planting — all intentionally designed to foster a sense of community sometimes lacking in apartment buildings.
‘At the heart of this project lies the essence of community. Our key design principle goes beyond individual dwellings; it encompasses the spaces in between, the expansive landscape, and communal areas where people can come together,’ says Jeremy McLeod, co-founder and design director of Breathe Architecture.
Park Street contains 15 one-bedroom + one-bathroom apartments (priced from $515 a week); one three-bedroom, + study + bathroom and powder room apartment ($1,100 a week); and one fully-furnished studio apartment to be offered through community housing provider Women’s Property Initiatives.
The building is located opposite Royal Park and within close walking distance of Sydney Road, trams, and trains.
In revitalising existing building stock at risk of being demolished, Park Street showcases Milieu’s creative approach to development.
Embracing the Breathe philosophy of ‘build less, give more,’ the project design embraces the beauty of imperfection to create homes where communities can thrive.
‘Living here is about more than just residing in a cool old flat — it’s about fostering a shared experience and a profound connection to a moment in time,’ says Jeremy. ‘Emphasising community and a sense of togetherness, our project aims to provide a space where residents can truly feel a part of something greater than themselves.’
Rental applications for Park Street are now open, with the first residents set to move in later this month.
Interested renters are invited to inspect Park Street at 791-793 Park Street, Brunswick, Victoria on Saturday August 12 between 9.30am and 10.30am. An additional inspection will be open to the general public (that’s anyone just wanting a stickybeak!) from Saturday August 12 between 10.30am-1pm. Register here.