Go-ahead for Moonee racecourse revamp


Moonee Valley Racing Club receives planning approval Image: The Valley

The Moonee Valley Racing Club in Melbourne, Australia, can push ahead with the redevelopment of its Grandstand and Clubhouse precinct after planning permission was granted by the City of Moonee Valley.

The green light for the revamp follows permit approval for the upgrade of the existing racetrack and infield.

The new Grandstand building, which has been approved within the permit, will feature new bars, dining areas, terrace seating and private suites for racegoers and Club members. The multi-storey building will be activated primarily for racing days and events.

Established in 1883, the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) has enjoyed a rich and vibrant history of thoroughbred horse racing at its unique amphitheatre racecourse nestled in the heart of Moonee Ponds.

Renowned for the W.S. Cox Plate, Australasia’s Weight-for-Age Championship, The Valley is also Australia’s leading night racing venue.

Construction of the Clubhouse and Grandstand precinct is scheduled to start after the 2025 Cox Plate, with completion anticipated in time for running the 2027 Cox Plate.

MVRC’s CEO Michael Browell said, “The approval of the Grandstand and Clubhouse precinct permit provides certainty to the Moonee Valley Racing Club’s redevelopment and delivering on the Club’s repositioning as a mixed-use sports and entertainment precinct.

“Through the inclusion of a residential hotel and wellness centre, the Club can open its doors to public visitation 365 days a year and ensure its legacy as part of the local landscape for years to come.”

Designed by Cox Architecture, the Grandstand and Clubhouse precinct will become the focal point of the broader community focused redevelopment, located on the southern side of Wilson Street, the northern side of Dean Street and the western side of Citylink.

The permit approval will also allow for the development of an 83-room boutique residential hotel situated on levels three to five of the new six-storey Clubhouse. The hotel floorplate will feature a mix of room layouts and sizes to attract a broad demographic of local and international guests.

A rooftop bar will be situated above the boutique hotel on level six of the Clubhouse. In accordance with the precinct permit, access to the rooftop bar will be limited to Club members and hotel guests, along with guests invited to functions hosted by the Club at the venue for functions.

The residential hotel, wellness centre and all new hospitality offerings will be owned and operated by the MVRC, in line with the MVRC’s repositioning as a sports, entertainment and community precinct.

A wellness centre will be situated on the ground level of the approved Clubhouse, including a gym, outdoor lap pool and change facilities. The wellness centre will be accessible to racegoers and local members of the community, as part of the MVRC’s overarching master plan strategy to appeal to a broader customer base beyond racing.

Traffic congestion has been considered within the permit application, with 166 additional carparks for racegoers, staff and community members incorporated into the basement levels of the Grandstand and Clubhouse.

Browell added, “Since the announcement of the redevelopment, there has been lots of community interest in the future of the racecourse land and the impact of development on the local community.

“With certainty now received from the City of Moonee Valley and construction commencing in November 2025, we’re taking this time now to focus on delivering a well-considered delivery sequence.”

In a string of significant milestones, the MVRC became the first Australian sports precinct to receive full EnviroDevelopment accreditation for the Racecourse Precinct in November 2023.

A whole-site approach to environmentally sustainable design will see nearly 90% water recycling of the racetrack’s irrigation system and a commitment to 100% renewable power.

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