Docklands is powering ahead as one of the city’s most important jobs centres, despite the waterfront suburb being only two-thirds developed.
From a wasteland less than 20 years ago, the precinct has 13,000 residents and 58,000 jobs amid $12 billion in private sector investment.
Top companies, including ANZ, NAB, Medibank Private and Myer, have located their national headquarters in Docklands. The National Broadband Network moved 700 jobs for its cyber security operation and the CSIRO’s “data innovation” group, Data61, has just set up with 140 jobs.
About $3 billion worth of work across 15 projects is under way, making Docklands one of the nation’s biggest urban renewal projects under construction. Yet complaints persist the waterfront precinct has failed to fire the imagination of most Melburnians and shake off its windswept “no-man’s land” reputation.
State urban renewal authority Places Victoria is constantly on the lookout for creative ways to lure visitors. Residents, workers and regular visitors can attest its fortunes are changing.
Features such as The Dock Library, opened in Victoria Harbour two years ago, and the return of the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel to Waterfront City in late 2013, have proved popular. Harbour Esplanade, while still to be fully developed, is a people magnet.
The final 50ha of development will be finished over the next decade or so when it will have about 20,000 residents and 80,000 jobs. Key projects under way include Lendlease’s Melbourne Quarter, a link between Docklands and the CBD bound by Flinders and Collins streets, featuring a sky park and three apartment buildings with about 1700 units.
At Victoria Harbour, Lendlease plans three residential towers with 1648 apartments on Collins St and six luxury townhouses, The Residences, in a leafy laneway near Bourke St.
On the other side of the river, Yarra’s Edge has Forge Tower 10 under construction with 229 units and 36 townhouses, while the area will be home to the future South Wharf Park. On its northern side, NewQuay has an unprecedented level of apartment towers under construction.
M Docklands, a five-star Peppers hotel by the Mantra Group, has opened and work has started on a new park opposite Harbour Town Shopping Centre. Permits have also been granted for future developments at Waterfront City including a cinema, leisure centre and a supermarket.
Via Future Melbourne – 8 Nov 2016