Pace Development Group will build an AUS$80 million (US$51 million) horseshoe-shaped Pace of Flemington building at Flemington racecourse after winning approval from the Melbourne City Council.
The approval comes after the Victoria Racing Club announced the Melbourne Cup Carnival would still “go ahead as it has done for almost 160 years.”
Tickets were still on sale for the entire Melbourne Cup Carnival including the race that is planned for 3 November 2020.
The future of the event was in doubt after the Victoria Racing Club stood down the majority of staff because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pace Development Group launched the residential racecourse project at the Flemington Birdcage enclosure in 2018.
The group sponsored the invitation-only, double-story marquee which was called the Pace Penthouse and previewed the development.
When built, the 15-story building with a camouflage pattern is expected to become the backdrop for the Melbourne Cup at 428-550 Epsom Road, Flemington.
The residential building will feature a small retail space, restaurant and cafe on the ground floor and almost 300 apartments above.
The plans designed by ARM Architecture were approved unanimously by councilors at The Future of Melbourne Committee meeting on 7 April 2020.
Councilor Nicholas Reece said the building would be a postcard of Melbourne for the millions of people watching the race each year.
“They [ARM] have come up with a very innovative, dare I say edgy design which I think is very Melbourne and will make for a great backdrop for when the horses gallop around,” Reece said.
The predominantly vacant land was identified as “surplus to racing requirements” with the heritage-listed Jockey’s Convalescent Lodge to be preserved.
The small octagonal building was described as late nineteenth-century and a unique example of a centralized hospital building in Victoria.
Reece said he was pleased to see Pace and ARM respectfully working to preserve the lodge and providing new space to the community.
“This development does include some new publicly accessible space, that open space is on private land and it was spaced that was previously fenced off as part of the Flemington Racetrack,” the councilor said.
The Melbourne-based developer, led by Shane Wilkinson, purchased the 10,600-square-meter parcel of land at Flemington Racecourse in late 2018 from the Victorian Racing Club following a competitive tender process.
The site sits atop the 1,200-meter main racing straight known as the StraightSix.
Pace has a number of projects across Melbourne including two residential towers in the Macaulay urban renewal area and recently sold its under-construction office block in Collingwood for AUS$31 million (US$19.8 million).
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