North Melbourne has received council approval for a $10 million redevelopment of its Arden St headquarters that will transform its home ground into a match-ready venue ahead of the club's entry into the AFLW in 2019.
North lodged its redevelopment plans with the Melbourne City Council late last year and recently received a construction permit.
North CEO Carl Dilena told AFL.com.au the club was delighted its blueprint had been given approval.
"We're just going through some of the detailed design stuff and then we'll tender and hopefully start construction in the next few months. We're aiming for a completion date of early next year," Dilena said.
"Our VFL side will get improved lighting for training here at Arden St during the course of the year and then the construction will really be driven by the women's football – both AFLW and VFLW – to have the facilities and change rooms ready to go for AFLW 2019."
The Kangaroos' redevelopment will include:
- Two team change rooms
- Umpires change rooms
- Expanded warm-up areas
- Coach's boxes
- A media box
- Medical facilities
- Office space for the club's new AFLW and VFL staff.
Most of the new facilities will be housed in a two-storey extension that will be built on a vacant concrete slab adjacent to North's administration and training centre, while the coach's boxes and media box will be positioned in the existing building so they are close to the wing.
A scoreboard and interchange benches will also be installed around the ground, along with improved lighting for training at night.
North is hopeful the redevelopment will just be the start of a large-scale revamp that transforms its Arden St base into the biggest inner-city training complex in Melbourne.
The Kangaroos' long-term vision is tied into the Victorian Government's proposed multi-billion-dollar transformation of the industrial areas surrounding the club's headquarters.
Under the government's plans, the newly created Macaulay and Arden precincts will become largely residential areas, sparking a significant population spike in the local community.
Last year, the Kangaroos submitted plans to the government's planning authority in which its Arden St home's footprint would grow from 4.5ha to 11.2ha and be upgraded to include:
- An indoor centre with a large synthetic oval
- A second indoor centre with four multi-use hard courts
- An indoor aquatic centre with a 50m pool
- An outdoor synthetic oval with lighting
- A café and other shops
"The current redevelopment is the first step in a really exciting phase for the club in terms of expansion given what's happening around the local area," Dilena said.
"We'll build the extension on the facility and then hopefully look at bigger and better things in the years to come."
The government's planning authority is expected to release updated plans for the Macaulay and Arden precincts early this year.