ARMSTRONG Creek’s first housing estate, Warralily, has been recognised as the state’s best masterplanned community eight years after the first blocks were sold.
The $1 billion development was recognised at the 2018 Victorian Urban Development Institute of Australia awards, where it also took out the environmental excellence award.
MORE REAL ESTATE NEWS:
The UDIA judging panel recognised the community’s “distinctive sense of place, characterised by an inherent relationship with its landscape” as the winning feature of the project.
“Warralily has developing into a thriving community of over 7000 residents who enjoy the very best of contemporary urban design in an environment that is guided by nature,” the judges remarked.
Civil, landscaping and infrastructure investment to date on the 380ha greenfield site has hit $780 million, with 68 stages completed and more than 500 lots under construction.
But the judges said the estate’s distinctive distinguishing feature was its green spine and reconstructed Armstrong Creek corridor, with 7ha of planted native grasslands connecting significant stands of remnant native vegetation and a pathways network connecting homes with community, education, sport and shopping precincts.
Warralily development general manager Mark Whinfield said the project had another five years of sales and construction to run, with another 2000 lots still on the drawing board.
“We started selling in June 2010, we’ve been going for eight years. We’ve probably got 40 per cent of the project to go,” he said.
“It’s about 5000 homes and we’ve sold 3000 lots to date.
“There is something about having a project of reasonable scale — it gives you the opportunity to invest in good design and good built form,” Mr Whinfield said
“We’ve established a strong community, which has been our drive, including having a dedicated person doing community development work.
“The Christmas spectacular that was on last Saturday had thousands of people there. We help resource it, but it is also drive by the community to come together.”
Warralily is the second Geelong estate to take out the top masterplanned community prize in consecutive years.
Villawood Properties’ Armstrong community won the award in 2017.
Mr Whinfield said a senior member of the state government had told him at the awards were a testament that Geelong was “getting it right”.
“We’ve got all the right ingredients, the location, the right stakeholders and council has been excellent — they have a commitment to the vision for the area.”
He praised the City of Greater Geelong and the State Government for ensuring the suburb’s services were provided, including schools.