Before starting his consulting career, NAVIRE Director Dominic Arcaro was the Chief Development Officer at Places Victoria (now Development Victoria). While at Places Victoria, Dominic was the senior executive responsible for the visioning, planning, business case, community engagement and delivery of Revitalising Central Dandenong (RCD), a 15-20 year major Victorian Government urban renewal initiative in Melbourne’s south-east.

The task

To work with the City of Greater Dandenong, several Government Departments, the community and the private sector to restore central Dandenong as the capital of Melbourne’s south-east. A key aim was to attract $1bn of private sector investment into central Dandenong over the 15-20 year life of the initiative.

The responsibilities

  • Formulate and implement the guiding principles/strategy to deliver the RCD initiative
  • Lead the economic analysis and market positioning of central Dandenong for the creation of the business case justifying the State’s investment in the RCD initiative. The business case included all necessary land acquisition, infrastructure, marketing and personnel costs
  • Engage with the community and the private sector to create the shared vision and master plan for RCD
  • Acquire seven hectares of land through negotiation and compulsory acquisition
  • Deliver approximately $80m of new road, bridge and public realm infrastructure and public art
  • Market and reposition central Dandenong and attract private-sector investment, in particular on the seven hectares acquired and reshaped for infrastructure and development

Where it’s at

  • RCD is approximately 50 per cent into its 15-20 year life
  • All infrastructure and public realm works have been delivered
  • Remaining land parcels continue to be released by Development Victoria for private sector development

What’s been achieved

Under Dominic’s leadership, the first 5 years of RCD saw the following achievements in the central Dandenong project area:

  • A 22% increase in dwellings and 800 new residents
  • A 10% increase in commercial office space including a new 15,000sqm Government Services Office developed by Grocon
  • More than $300m in private-sector investment in the central Dandenong project area
  • The delivery of the first privately owned and operated (Origin/Cogent) cross-boundary Precinct Wide Co-Gen Energy Project in Australia servicing the central Dandenong area and beyond
  • RCD has also won numerous awards, including the Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design (Lonsdale Street Redesign and Upgrade) at the 2013 AIA National Architecture Awards.