State leasing luxury apartments encircled by east-west link flyovers

The Age: State leasing luxury apartments encircled by east-west link flyovers. January 28, 2014. State Political Reporter at The Age

Luxury apartments bought by the Napthine government because they will be ringed by east-west link flyovers are being advertised as the ”ultimate lifestyle experience” with views of native wetlands and ”majestic waters”.

In September, the state government paid $90 million for 175 apartments in the Evo complex, Parkville, from off-the-plan investors.

State government plans for the east-west link show the seven-storey building surrounded by two tollway flyovers which will meet CityLink, with apartments overlooking a steady stream of traffic.

In an unusual move, and in what Treasurer Michael O’Brien described as ”unique circumstances”, the state government offered to buy out the purchasers’ contracts before settlement.

The apartments are being advertised online with real estate agents Noble Knight – but there is no mention of the east-west link or the six-year construction phase.

One two-bedroom flat in the complex, which the state government wants to lease for $570 a week, is advertised as the ”ultimate lifestyle experience” with immediate CityLink access.

The sixth-floor apartment is advertised as having amenities that appeal for renters who like ”living on top of the world”.

”Sliding glass doors open on to the highly set balcony, overlooking the pool and native wetlands. Luxury amenities include access to the 20-metre private lap pool with spa, communal spaces, and lush landscaped gardens,” the advertisement states. Another apartment was touted for its ”magic windowed balcony”.

Linking Melbourne Authority spokeswoman Gemma Boucher said 175 apartments in the complex were available for lease from the state government. She said the rents would be used to ”offset project and operating costs”.

Ms Boucher said prospective tenants were told of the proximity to the east-west link and had to sign a disclosure statement acknowledging this in the lease.

Opposition planning spokesman Brian Tee said it was a new low for the Napthine ”spin and deception machine”. Noble Knight had not responded by press time.

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