Victoria’s largest modular construction

The Nicholson

The Nicholson, East Coburg

Key facts

Development value: $56 million
Development timeframe: 16 months
Residences: 199 apartments


The former East Coburg tram depot just seven kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD provided the opportunity for Places Victoria to respond to the shortage of affordable housing in inner Melbourne.

Revitalising East Coburg

The Nicholson was launched in November 2011 and is an award-winning and innovative apartment development providing affordable and sustainable high-density housing in Melbourne’s inner suburbs.

The building’s 199 apartments include privately owned apartments and affordable rental apartments as well as commercial spaces.

The development’s key features include:
  • 6-star energy rating
  • Open-air hallways
  • Grey water connections
  • Use of recycled timbers and recycled industrial plastics
To date, The Nicholson is the largest building in Victoria to use modular construction, with apartments built offsite and craned into position. This method reduced construction time by approximately 50 per cent.  

View timelapse of the construction.

Innovation and awards

The Nicholson won the 2011 Urban Development Institute of Australia Judges’ Award, with the panel commenting on Places Victoria’s work in delivering a building that successfully brought a mix of rental, privately owned and social housing to the marketplace.

The development was also a finalist in the Property Council of Australia’s Innovation and Excellence Awards.

Project partners

The Nicholson was constructed in partnership with housing and support agency Home Ground Services and saw 58 affordable rental apartments delivered under the Federal Government’s Nation Building Social Housing initiative and 31 apartments under the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

Other project partners include: