Responsible design shaping Hotham Hill

Responsible design shaping Hotham Hill
Jack Hayes

In a suburb like North Melbourne, spread with countless period homes and an undeniable commitment to heritage, it’s not often you’ll find a new development received well by locals.

It’s even less common to find residents, so enamoured by the design of a new development, they are willing to move homes within their own street.

With responsibility and sustainability at the forefront of design, it seems a new three-storey development at 5 Curran St, North Melbourne is ticking all the right boxes.

Under the stewardship of family-owned and operated developers, Mainstone, a planning permit has been approved for 12 owner-occupier apartments.

Comprising a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom homes with generous living spaces, the brother duo behind Mainstone Property Development, David and Michael Beaconsfield, have borne witness to unprecedented levels of local interest.

“MGS architects have created a design that complements the heritage streetscape and transitions between the single level heritage building to the left of the site to the larger form on the right-hand side. We’ve had really positive feedback from people within the street, including people interested in buying in,” David said.

“There is a basement car park where nearly all of the apartments have two spaces, with a total of 22 car parks for the 12 apartments.”

The Hotham Hill residences will feature SolShare solar technology by Allume Energy to deliver eco-friendly solar electricity to each apartment, reducing residents’ electricity costs and environmental impact.

The groundswell of support from the neighbourhood has been so resounding that a local buyer has requested the amalgamation of dwellings to create a 250 sqm penthouse.

Along with the eager purchase of another 174 sqm penthouse from a nearby resident, even before public launch of the project, this is an atypical response from the local population and typifies the calibre of this new development.

“A lot of new buildings have solar, but most of them only use it for common property lighting and power. SolShare takes it a step further and sends the solar power into your apartment,” David said.

Since leaving their own professional careers to join the family business, the Beaconsfield brothers have followed a design philosophy framed by one simple question, “what kind of home would I like to live in?”

“As a research tool we use a score produced by On The House (owned by CoreLogic). Curran St has a Liveability score of 9.9 out of 10 on their metrics,” Michael Beaconsfield said. “That is based across different amenities like walkability, schools, parklands, health, shopping and transport – all the things you look for are within walking distance.”

“We also put a rule in the plan of subdivision which prohibits short term leases of less than three months, so the people moving in know they are going to be surrounded by owner-occupiers or long-term tenants, and they aren’t going to have that disruption of short-stays or Airbnb.”


We’ve been brought up as kids around the dinner table talking about property. We both left professional careers to pursue this full-time, which is another point of difference between us and some other developers. We make time for our purchasers, it is a labour of love.


The pair are the third generation of Beaconsfield property developers, with their grandfather establishing his own business more than 60 years ago, and now with their mother and father still involved, it truly is a family-run business.

Their latest project at 5 Curran St will see a continuation of family driven values, with the adoption of The Big Issue’s Homes for Homes initiative.

Homes for Homes encourages homeowners to make a voluntary donation of 0.1 per cent of their property’s sale price when they eventually move on and sell.

Donations are pooled and used to create more social and affordable housing for people who are experiencing homelessness and disadvantage.

“We will be supporting Homes for Homes by donating ourselves from the project proceeds, and we hope our buyers will make a similar voluntary donation in due course. Homes For Homes reminds us: when it’s time to sell our home, we must also think about those in need,” Michael said.

Mainstone has joined forces with speciality new development selling agent and Next Chapter Project’s director Tom Hirini in selling the Hotham Hill development.

As a North Melbourne local, Mr Hirini has developed an intimate knowledge into the demands of the local market.

“I’m very excited to be working on this project. There is passive design built into the architecture that enhances the energy efficiency,” Mr Hirini said. “The development has coveted dual aspects, great cross flow ventilation and garden apartments with more than 100 sqm of outdoor space – that is so rare in apartment design.”

The project’s official launch will be held on June 8 at Big Plans, North Melbourne. Locals can register their interest.

A cavalry of owner-occupiers, who have fallen in love with the boutique nature of the property, have already pre-registered interest to view plans at launch. •

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