green lifestyle

The perfect combination of a lush mixed with vibrant inner north culture is possible –  you just need to know where to look.

Green spaces are vital for health and wellbeing and Melburnians experienced these benefits first hand during the pandemic lockdowns.

Parks and gardens were more popular than ever for exercise, picnics and relaxation. It’s no wonder that buyers are placing access to green space at the top of their priorities list when looking for a new home.

“Green spaces are increasingly important to buyers and they’re seriously considering that lifestyle element,” says Anne Flaherty, “Plus, more people now have ‘COVID puppies’, adding to the necessity of being near parks.”

Moonee Valley Park is a multi-year stage project from joint venture partners Hamton, Moonee Valley Racing Club and Hostplus.

However, with cultural life back with a bang, buyers are also wanting to be close to the action – particularly to the events, restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and galleries in the vibrant inner-north and CBD of Melbourne.

Luckily, you don’t need to sacrifice one for the other — if you know where to look. Here are some tips to land the perfect combination.

Think green first

Finding your inner north oasis means you need to consider the surrounding green spaces just as much as the home design, explains Fergus Humphries, Sales and Marketing Director at Hamton.

“Look for a residential building where the landscaping is just as important as the built form,” he says. “In a medium-to-high-density development, this is key for people to form a sense of community.”

Fergus says to look for walkways filled with trees and pocket parks between apartment buildings as these create a beautiful, serene outlook. He adds that it’s even better if existing landscaping or vegetation have been retained on the site.

Stonepine House is the third residential stage of Moonee Valley Park, with the first two stages currently under .

Look at the local lifestyle

Next, make sure the green oasis has plenty of local cafes, restaurants, bars and shops within close strolling distance to enjoy. ( )

Anne says the inner-north suburb of Moonee Ponds is an example of where you can tick both boxes.

“It’s surrounded by some of the most popular and most in-demand Melbourne suburbs — it borders on Brunswick West and it’s close to Parkville,” she says.

However, with a median unit price of $517,000 at the end of October 2021, up 7% on the previous year, it can be a little more affordable than its neighbours, she explains.

“Moonee Ponds is a suburb that has been under the radar for a while,” she says. “I think it’s the kind of area that’s going to see more interest from buyers over the coming years.”

Lively retail strip Puckle Street has long been at the centre of the action in Moonee Ponds. Now, the area is welcoming the new master planned Moonee Valley Park precinct, which Fergus explains will bring new residential opportunities, restaurants and more to the area.

“At TOTE Bar and Dining, which is within the development, you can meet friends for a long lunch or grab an evening drink,” he says. “Down the track, Cox Place is going to be a buzzing retail, food and beverage precinct.”

Connect to culture

The next must-have is proximity to all the cultural activities of Melbourne’s CBD — a drawcard for people after having so much closed for so long, Flaherty points out.

“Over the past 18-months, we saw a lot of people move away from Melbourne,” she says. “We’re now at the point where we’re going to start to see more people returning, which will support demand for relatively inner-city suburbs.”

Prices start from $450,000 for one bedroom, from $630,000 for two bedrooms and from $1,195,000 for three bedrooms.

Moonee Ponds is just 6km from the CBD and has a train station at Puckle Street straight into the CBD where concerts, festivals and exhibitions are back in full swing.

Fergus says that with fresh life breathing back into Melbourne’s cultural scene, being near the thick of the action will be important.

“You’ve got Moonee Ponds junction, which is a five-minute walk away, with trams and buses that run into the city and Melbourne Uni — walkability is incredibly high and you don’t need to get in the car,” he says.

Find a well-considered development

An essential ingredient is to find a development that has thought through all of these aspects to give you a winning urban oasis. A good example is the new Stonepine House at Moonee Valley Park.

“The Moonee Valley Park site is about 40 hectares in total and about 20 hectares is dedicated to open space,” says Fergus. “The vision for the precinct was to create botanical parks and gardens around the built form.”

Stonepine House comprises of 127 apartments and has been architecturally designed by Rothelowman, with apartment interiors by Carr and landscaping by Tract.

Fergus says the entire precinct is shaped around the surrounding green space and natural environment.

Stonepine House takes its name from the two 125-year-old historic stone pine trees at the entrance, while it’s surrounded by wide green ‘parkways’ and is just moments from the new 5,000sqm Tote Park.

“Parks and gardens were really the driver behind the whole masterplan and the architecture for the precinct,” Fergus says.

“At Hamton we seek to realise a better tomorrow through developing well considered places for the people of Melbourne.

“What you leave is important for future generations.”

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