Considering Kingsville for your next home? We had a chat to local resident Sam Kurikawa, who takes us through the hidden gems, haunts and culture of the Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville area, locally known as ‘SKY’. Despite being just 6km from the Melbourne CBD, the area has maintained a community-feel, with property prices increasing almost 18% over the past year.
Hi! What’s your name?
How old are you?
And where do you currently live?
Kingsville, an inner-west suburb of Melbourne.
What do you do for a living?
I am a self-employed freelancer.
What is your household structure?
Single without children, and I own my property with a mortgage.
How long have you been living in the Kingsville suburb?
On and off for eight years.
What makes Kingsville such a great place to live?
I am sort of cheating because I want to boast about all of SKY (Seddon, Kingsville, Yarraville) in Melbourne’s inner-west. It’s a cluster of three small suburbs which has undergone a transformation from an industrial gateway and working-class area to a community-oriented, environmentally-conscious dining and shopping hotspot just 6km from the CBD.
I’m based in the suburb of Kingsville and just up the road is Cruickshank Park – an expansive off-leash dog park that is always busy with joggers, families, elder people and so many pets frolicking in the creek! Cruickshank hosts a ‘Friends of’ group, as well as a community garden, tennis courts, a dedicated BMX track, and it backs onto a school and several childcare centres. It’s a popular respite at any time of day.
The Kingsville suburb has more apartments, subdivided blocks of townhouses and a diverse population of newer migrants and young couples, while Seddon and Yarraville are home to many highly sought-after period houses and beautifully renovated workers cottages. A home in Seddon was recently sold by Andy Lee (from radio duo Hamish & Andy) for well above $1 million.
Both Yarraville and Seddon host annual festivals which are popular with the community, as well as artists and makers markets throughout the year. The streets become heaving with families and trendy young couples eating, drinking, shopping, dancing and generally imbibing the wonderful community spirit the area is known for.
Everybody loves the feel of Yarraville village, especially with its boutique shops, the pop-up park and the art deco Sun Theatre which is an absolute institution, much-loved by historians and teenagers alike. Channel 10 loved Yarraville so much they made hit TV Show ‘The Wrong Girl’ its home.
Where are the hidden gems of the area?
With just a smattering of chain stores, SKY is a mecca for local businesses, like the old Italian couple on Somerville Road repairing shoes for at least 40 years, new organic grocers and old-style butchers, vintage clothing stores, and an array of world cuisine from Cambodian Bopha Devi to brunch favourite Seddon Deadly Sins.
What’s one thing people assume about the area, that is in fact false?
People think it’s further from the city than it is. It’s only about 6km to Yarraville, but people imagine the west to be further because of the Westgate Bridge.
Find out if the median property value of your has suburb grown.
What three words best summarise your community:
Community-minded, thriving and convenient!
What are your views on pricing – are there cheaper pockets or particular entertainment spots within your neighbourhood?
House prices have been steadily rising for about 10 years, but Kingsville is still affordable, especially as it has a higher concentration of units and townhouses on subdivided blocks. Dining out is a bit expensive but we’re close to Footscray with its market and affordable shops.
Do you know of any future plans for the area?
The Westgate Tunnel Project has just started to divert trucks off suburban streets. The council is also currently taking submissions for the 2040 plan.
Any area folklore or funny stories about the area?
One of my favourite local characters is an 85-year-old who rides his bike through the streets having conversations with passers-by. Recently I was given a history lesson on my street and learned about the former church building with vast grounds, and a local young’un who dropped in, learned to play piano and has now become a famous pianist. The land was subdivided a few years back, the church moved over one block, and the original building has now made way for a new two-storey home being built.
Times change but SKY has a way of honouring its local characters – like the mural on the side of one Yarraville’s excellent restaurants, Vault, paying homage to an infamous homeless lady with a huge personality who passed away a couple of years ago.
Not interested in the Kingsville suburb profile? Check out our Point of View: Erskineville instead!