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Morris Moor: From Untested Vision to Dynamic Destination

15 March, 2023
Morris Moor: From Untested Vision to Dynamic Destination

From a 1960s manufacturing hub to a dynamic work and social hub, Morris Moor is a go-to destination in Melbourne’s booming south-east suburbs. But there’s more to come. Once completed, the bayside landmark will have a $200 million end value.

Just 15km from the city, the Moorabbin precinct is masterfully delivering experiences once reserved for trendy inner-city suburbs.

“We want Morris Moor to become an iconic destination where work, play, eat and drink integrates. A unique destination for all Melburnians to enjoy,” Up Property managing director Adam Davidson (pictured above) said.

Up Property bought the site in 2015 with a vision to deliver a sought-after commercial community.  The 6.3ha site has eclectic spaces across eight buildings. While others saw a knock down job, Up Property embraced an urban renewal challenge.

“Up Property acquired the corner site with the aim to retain and transform its existing buildings into world-class contemporary spaces to work and play while still celebrating its heritage,” Davidson said.

At the heart of any Up Property development is collaboration, harnessing award-winning leaders in their fields. These include Masterplan architect Genton, interiors by Caroline Lieu, hospitality fitouts by Studio Y, office fitouts by Made For, cafe exterior design by Ritz&Ghougassian, and with renowned architectural firm ClarkeHopkinsClarke taking on the latest stage. Connect Plus has been at the helm providing project strategy and management throughout ensuring the delivery of the vision.

Interior architect Caroline Lieu said work on the project, in which Tract Consultants was awarded a 2022 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ award for urban design, is approached with honesty.

“The iconic site presented a mid-century architectural heritage, which is rare for projects at this scale. The aim was to create a design response with honesty, refinement and sensibility that would transform this Moorabbin landmark into a progressive new business and lifestyle development.”

Bendigo Bank backing

The arts, commerce and hospitality hub is reinventing and redefining Moorabbin, once best known for its airport and footy team.

More than 150 innovative businesses, from traditional commercial offices, to start-ups, warehouses, and manufacturing, are up and running on the site, attracting 750 to 1000 people each day.

The 5000sq m hospitality precinct boasts Collingwood-based Stomping Ground Brewery Co, Penny for Pound bakery and patisserie, and cult burger joint Royal Stacks flipping its signature burgers.

“At the start of the project there wasn’t a financial institution wanting to back our vision but we didn’t give up and Bendigo Bank supported the project before any tenants had committed and Morris Moor was just an untested, bold vision,” Davidson said.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has backed the next stage which is under construction.

Notable brands

As an industrial factory, Phillip Morris was a lifeblood for the local economy. With its reimagining, the bar has been raised under Up Property, with the Morris Moor development offering the commercial, shared work, retail and hospitality to employ 1600 people when complete.

Schots Home Emporium and Clik Collective warehousing have shared the vision from the early days.

The leasing mix is carefully considered and negotiations are under way with notable brands for the next phase.

“We have received plenty of enquiries for office space in the next stage—building four—as it offers incredible scale, amenities, and quality. The voluminous high ceilings and exposed trusses, combined with new design elements, make the building impossible to replicate. Large windows bring in an abundance of natural light, creating a bright and energised workplace,” Up Property asset manager Steven Schmidt said.

“Up Property was driven to create spaces that stood the test of time. Being able to redevelop an already existing icon, such as Morris Moor, and bring it back to life to become a destination for Melburnians to enjoy, is a rewarding chapter on our journey,” Schmidt said.

Builder named

Builder Kapitol Group has been appointed for the next stage, featuring 16,000sqm of offices, warehousing, and hospitality. The completion is expected by the end of 2023.

“Kapitol’s drive for excellence and its solutions-based approach is what stood out for us as we continue our vision for Morris Moor,” Up Property general manager Marcus Jankie said.

“Connecting the community with a curated lifestyle and culture, Morris Moor will deliver orchestrated experiences. Not just for workdays but every day,” Jankie said.


For leasing enquiries contact Steve Schmidt 0434-051-347 or register here


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