It’s usually a shovel, but a front-end loader was used to turn the first sod at the Viewpoint estate in Huntly this week.
That’s how big the project is.
Federal Minister for Housing, Brendan O’Connor visited Bendigo on Tuesday to tour the site where 100 of the 800 allotments have been earmarked for assistance under the Building Better Regional Cities program.
Mr O’Connor said Bendigo’s success in securing $3.8 million under the program is a “testament to the quality of the application”.
He announced Metricon and JG King as the two builders appointed to the 100-lot BBRC project, which will provide grants of $38,800 to eligible home owners.
Aaron D’Orival of Ethan Housing, which is managing the project with developer Integra, said the take-up of grant applications had been slowed a little while discussions with bank loan providers were carried out.
“We have now secured with the banks that the $38,800 can be used towards the deposit, and the applications are coming in,” he said.
Applications will go to ballot on December 6.
Stage one of the entire Viewpoint Huntly estate will include display homes, with construction likely to begin in January next year.
The estate also began selling blocks outside the 100-lot BBRC allocation about 16 weeks ago, and 86 lots have already sold.
The relatively fast take-up of the lots being opened up on the northern boundary of Huntly has surprised the industry, with the estimated completion date for the estate likely to be less than the anticipated 15 years, and more likely to be 10.
City of Greater Bendigo council’s director of planning and development Prue Mansfield said the prospect of a rapid increase in housing and population vindicated council’s forward planning for a new railway station in Huntly.