Bringing Brunswick style living to CBD
A COMMUNITY meeting will be held on Tuesday evening to outline plans for a social co-housing development in Wangaratta’s Railway Precinct.
The Siding, to be established at 5860 Norton Street, is described as “a different way of living”, which will create a “vibrant neighbourhood” within a 10 minute walk to everything in the city’s centre, and aligns with the Rural City of Wangaratta’s plans for the Railway Precinct.
Mary Daly, one of the locals involved in the project, said it was planned to establish six apartments, with Airbnb accommodation above them, and a commercial space at the front of the building.
It is being developed in conjunction with Breathe Architecture’s Nightingale Developments, and Ms Daly said the concept “brings a bit of Brunswick to Norton Street”.
Nightingale has already developed a number of projects in Melbourne, a couple of them in Brunswick, under a model of multi-residential buildings that are financially, socially and environmentally sustainable.
The co-housing idea involves developing a community which will utilise some shared facilities, such as a laundry and an open space surrounded by the apartments.
“People will have their own private homes, but the way it’s designed, they will be able to interact with each other,” Ms Daly’s husband, Ian Wilson, explained.
Ms Daly said the rural city’s growing potential as a ‘treechange’ destination meant the concept could attract multi-generational interest.
So far, there has been interest ex- pressed in four apartments, and Tuesday’s meeting will open up the project to the wider community, discussing what it involves and seeking others keen to be involved.
“We think it’s time for a change in housing, and I can see that something like this might roll on into other projects in Wangaratta,” Ms Daly said.
Rural City of Wangaratta councillor Dean Rees said he was “certainly supportive” of the project.
“I’m excited by the idea, because it is a new and different use,” Cr Rees said.
“One of our main focuses is to get more people into the CBD, so it is ac- tive at night and people are walking around the centre of the city.”
Cr Rees said the railway precinct project currently sitting with council aimed to improve the look of the area as an entrance to the city, and create cycling links, so the development of the co-housing project would fit snugly with its objectives.
Among the local residents interested in the project are Barbara McDonald and Rohan Latimar.
“My partner is a consulting doctor, so needs to be on call within 10 minutes of the hospital, so this is perfectly located, and I have a sustainability focus, so sharing stuff around links in with that,” Mr Latimar said.
Mr Latimar is currently involved with a co-working space in Murphy Street, which has a similar ethos in offering start-ups, entrepreneurs and other home businesses the chance to share office space.
Ms McDonald said she found the project an “interesting way of thinking about how people might live”.
Tuesday’s meeting will be held at the Wangaratta Library from 6pm, with supper provided.
To RSVP, contact Mary on 0419 337 725.
RAILWAY PRECINCT BOOST: Rohan Latimar, Mary Daly, Ian Wilson, Rural City of Wangaratta councillor Dean Rees and Barbara McDonald are excited about a social co-housing development planned for Norton Street. PHOTOS: Mel Guy
THE SIDING: This Norton Street building is set to be transformed into a co-housing development featuring six apartments, Airbnb accommodation on the top floor, and a street-facing commercial space.