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Plans revealed to transform Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse sport and entertainment precinct

Plans revealed to transform Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse sport and entertainment precinct
April 16, 2021

The Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust has unveiled an ambitious $570 million redevelopment to transform the Caulfield Racecourse into a sporting and entertainment precinct along with new housing.

The Trust’s plan aims create one of the largest public spaces in Melbourne’s south and will feature a large concert space, an indoor sports complex and up to seven sporting fields in the large space within the perimeter of the racetrack, linked by tunnels to areas outside the track.

The plan also includes an additional racetrack.

With the Racecourse Trust currently negotiating with federal, state and local governments over potential contributions, the Melbourne Racing Club has committed $285 million to the project funded through the sale of the nearby Sandown racecourse for housing.

The 15-year plan includes two sports hubs within the track - one for sports such as cricket and football and the other with synthetic pitches for sports such as hockey, plus an outdoor gym and picnic areas.

Walking, running and cycling trails will be created alongside the racetrack, while gardens, a skatepark, meeting rooms, open spaces for markets and off-leash areas will also be developed.

Launched on Wednesday by Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, the Minister said the development would help the racecourse become a “truly inclusive” open space, commenting “I look forward to seeing the plan come to fruition and thank the trust for their continued efforts in promoting Caulfield Racecourse Reserve as an accessible, inclusive public space for the community to enjoy.”

Major construction work will probably begin in 2023 when horse race training relocates away from Caulfield. Before 2023, work will take place to improve accessibility and create public spaces for events such as markets.

Affordable housing, which may be built above a community and indoor sports centre along the racetrack perimeter, could be stipulated to be for university students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds or front-line health workers. The track is near Monash University’s Caulfield campus.

Under the plan, Caulfield will also host night racing on a second track. Fine-dining restaurants and pubs will be built around the grandstand.

Advising that the redevelopment will transform Caulfield, Racecourse Trust Chair, Sam Almaliki added “it will be a great entertainment precinct where you can go and see a concert and experience great dining with your family.

“It will be the centre of community life - a community and events destination of state significance with an enduring reputation as a premier thoroughbred horse racing venue.”

The Glen Eira City Council area has the lowest proportion of open public space of any council area, with neighbouring Stonnington the second worst.

A business case is being developed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, in conjunction with Glen Eira City Council and the Victorian Government, to detail the return on investment.

The plans follow the Victorian Government’s creation of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust in August 2018.

The Melbourne Racing Club’s funding for the project is partly based on its plan to sell the Sandown racetrack as a site for 7500 new homes.

Images: Concepts for the proposed Caulfield Racecourse redevelopment (top amd middle) and the redevelopment will feature walking and cycling trails, restaurants and affordable housing (below).

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18th March 2020 - World Urban Parks Chief Executive emphasises the value of public green space in a time of crisis

23rd January 2020 - Upgraded Sandringham Golf Course set to open nine holes to public

15th October 2019 - Community vision for Melbourne’s new public open space

23rd July 2019 - Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse to undergo $300 million redevelopment

30th June 2018 - New management to guide future of Caulfield Racecourse Reserve

4th May 2018 - South east Melbourne A-League bid group announces ambitious Dandenong stadium plans

23rd August 2017 - New governing body to ensure Melbourne’s Caulfield Racecourse remains as public open space

19th November 2016 - Central Melbourne’s trees need to adapt to climate change

13th September 2016 - Parliamentary review leads to sacking of Caulfield Racecourse Reserve trustees

21st August 2016 - Caulfield Racecourse trustees face sack as community calls for more open space

2nd August 2015 - Greyhound Racing Victoria loses Chief Executive as industry reels in wake of live baiting scandal

19th May 2014 - Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre named Australia’s best tourism and leisure development

5th March 2014 - 100 partners back 202020 Vision for Australia’s urban green space

27th April 2013 - Green Space Report reveals Australians spend less time in parks

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7th April 2011 - Green spaces ‘crucial’ for promoting physical exercise

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