Melbourne Docklands

Melbourne Docklands

Infobox Australian Place
name = Docklands

caption = View of Telstra Dome, Victoria Harbour and New Quay from the Rialto Towers
state = vic
stategov = Melbourne
pop = 3939 (2006) Census 2006 AUS | id = SSC21229 | name = Docklands (State Suburb) | accessdate = 2007-09-26 | quick = on]
fedgov = Melbourne
type = suburb
lga = City of Melbourne
area = 3
city = Melbourne
est = 2000
postcode = 3008
near-nw = Footscray
near-n = West Melbourne
near-ne = North Melbourne
near-w = Yarraville
near-e = Melbourne
near-sw = Port Melbourne
near-s = Port Melbourne
near-se = Southbank
dist1 = 2 | location1 = Melbourne CBD

Melbourne Docklands is a coastal area within Melbourne, Australia. Recently, much of this area has been reconstructed to become a new inner city suburb and urban renewal project in Melbourne.

The Docklands precinct was originally used for docks but fell out of use following the containerisation of shipping traffic. The space remained vacant and unused during the 1980s and it fell in to disrepair. It was used for "special events" during the 1990s, becoming notable for a number of dance and rave parties.

Completion is expected in 2015. The redeveloped area will almost double the size of the city's central business district. With a residential population primarily living in high-density highrise apartments, its population (2006) is 3939 persons. The residential population is expected to reach 20,000 in 2015. The current (2004) employment in the area is 7200 persons and expected to rise to 25,000 in years to come. The precinct is a tourist destination and Melbourne's tourist authorities anticipate over 20 million visitors per year in future years.Fact|date=October 2007

Melbourne Docklands is best known as home to the Telstra Dome, Southern Cross Station and a large number of modern buildings and eccentric public artworks.

It has become a sought after business addresses [ [ CBRE report pointing to Melbourne Docklands outperforming all other Australian office markets] ] , already attracting the national headquarters of the National Australia Bank, ANZ, AXA, Medibank Private and the Bureau of Meteorology and regional headquarters of the Bendigo Bank in campus style office buildings. [ [ ANZ deal sparks Docklands concern] Article from The Age]

As of Sunday, July 1, 2007 Docklands became part of the City of Melbourne local government authority. Until then it had not been part of any local government authority (LGA), but was its own LGA, the Docklands Authority (now Vic Urban), while being a division of the State government. Although Docklands is now part of the City of Melbourne, Vic Urban retains urban planning authority until 2010. However, the Planning Minister has the final say on the approval of a development.


With the advent of containerisation in the shipping industry, the docks along the Yarra River east of the modern Bolte Bridge, and within Victoria Harbour immediately to the west of the central business district, became inadequate for the new container ships. The principal docking area shifted closer to the mouth of the Yarra, creating a vast amount of vacant inner-city land. In 1989 several architectural firms were invited to discuss how the area could best serve the Melbourne public. A set of design principles was established by the Docklands Authority, which intended to maintain the quality of the public domain. The commission to design the overall plan was granted to Ashton Raggatt McDougall by the Docklands Authority.Prior to this, property consultants JLW Advisory carried out a market demand assessment of the site. It was from this that the then Docklands Authority decided to subdivide the area into seven distinct precincts - Business Park, Victoria Harbour, Yarra Waters, Batman's Hill, Technology Park, Docklands Stadium and West End.

Through the tendering process for the sites, Business Park was split once more and awarded to two consortia, becoming Entertainment City (renamed Paramount Studios) - a movie theme park with film studios, to be developed by a Viacom led consortium, and Yarra Nova (which later evolved into NewQuay) to the MAB Corporation consortium. The Paramount Studios proposal fell through, and the site was put to tender once more, as Studio City, and later awarded as two parts, becoming what is now the Central City Studios and Waterfront City.

Yarra Waters/Yarra Quays was awarded to Mirvac later becoming Yarra's Edge, while Technology Park was renamed Commonwealth Technology Port before finally becoming Digital Harbour.

A number of other sites also encountered false starts, with Victoria Harbour originally being awarded to Walker Corporation, before being put out to tender again and finally being awarded to Lend Lease in April 2001. Batman's Hill was originally awarded to Bruno Grollo's Grocon, which had plans for what would have been the world's tallest building rising 560 m, dubbed 'Grollo Tower' and featuring a mix of office, apartment, hotel and retail. This deal also fell through with the site being subdivided into 15 parcels as well as Rail Goods Shed No.2:

* Site 1/753 Bourke Street - awarded to Pan Urban.
* Site 2a/737 Bourke Street - Equiset.
* Site 2b/750 Collins Street - Grocon.
* Goods Shed North/733 Bourke Street - Equiset/Pan Urban JV.
* Site 3a/700 Collins Street - Leighton Holdings.
* Site 3b/717 Bourke Street - Global Campus Management/Babcock & Brown.
* Goods Shed South/735 Collins Street/Village Docklands - Kuok Group/Walker Corp JV.
* Site 4a/Village Docklands - Kuok Group/Walker Corp JV.
* Site 4b/Village Docklands - Kuok Group/Walker Corp JV.
* Site 4c/Village Docklands - Kuok Group/Walker Corp JV.
* Site 4d/Village Docklands - Kuok Group/Walker Corp JV.
* Site 4e/Village Docklands - Kuok Group/Walker Corp JV.
* Site 4f/Village Docklands - Kuok Group/Walker Corp JV.
* Site 5a - Kangan Batman TAFE.
* Site 5b - Under negotiation, Sama Dubai.
* Site 6 - Under negotiation, Sama Dubai.
* Site 7/643 Collins Street - Grocon.

The Stadium Precinct was divided into four corner blocks:

* North West Stadium Precinct (NWSP) - Channel 7/Pacific Holdings.
* North East Stadium Precinct (NESP) - Pan Urban.
* South West Stadium Precinct (SWSP) - Devine Limited/RIA Property Group.
* South East Stadium Precinct (SESP) - Bourke Junction Consortium

With SESP seeing a number of proposals come and go including a proposal for a Docklands Hilton, and office and residential towers and more recently a 40-storey Outrigger Hotel and office tower.


The area is broken up into a number of precincts, which are each being designed and built by a different development company.

Batman's Hill

The Batman's Hill precinct is adjacent to the western edge of the city and bordered by the Yarra River to the south, Spencer Street to the east, Telstra Dome to the north and Victoria Harbour to the west. The precinct is named after the historical landmark Batman's Hill, which was once situated within the area.

Batman's Hill is a mixed-use precinct including commercial and retail space, entertainment, hotels, residential sections, restaurants, cultural sites and educational institutions as well as the historic Rail Goods Shed No.2, which was split in half to allow for the extension of Collins Street into Docklands, providing businesses with an address that is considered to be prestigious. The area is 100,000 square metres.

More than half the precinct is already built, committed or under construction, and includes the Watergate/Site One apartment and small office complex, 700 Collins Street (home to the Bureau of Meteorology and Medibank Private), 750 Collins Street (the headquarters of AXA Asia Pacific), Kangan Batman TAFE Automotive Centre for Excellence and the Fox Classic Car Museum. Currently under construction are 717 Bourke Street (consisting of a 294 room Travelodge Hotel and Esmod fashion and design college) and 737 Bourke Street (the new home of National Foods).

On August 2, 2007, it was reported that a $1.5 billion scheme had been earmarked for Collins Street by Middle Eastern investment company Sama Dubai, to be designed by leading architect Zaha Hadid and Melbourne firm Ashton Raggatt McDougall. The plan, should it go ahead would consist of four buildings, including Docklands' tallest tower as well as civic spaces spanning two sites to be built on decking over Wurundjeri Way. The proposed tower will be between 50 to 60 storeys tall and is said to be so green that it would deserve an eight-to-12-star energy rating. However no formal announcement has been made by Vic Urban or the State Government. [ [ Visionary architect set to transform Docklands - National - ] ]

Construction has also begun on the new offices of Fairfax media at 643 Collins Street. The new building, to be known as Media House, will comprise of 16,000sqm of office space accommodating 1,400 staff, on decking over railway lines opposite Southern Cross Station. The $110 million eight-storey facility has been designed by architects Bates Smart to achieve a 5-star Green Star rating, and will feature a news ticker, outdoor screen and grassy plaza. It is being developed by Grocon and is due to be completed in 2009. [ [ New Age building revealed - National - ] ] []

Village Docklands

Village Docklands is a 3ha precinct, within the larger Batman's Hill area, being developed jointly by the Kuok Group and Walker Corporation. A masterplan prepared by Marchese + Partners in conjunction with Bligh Voller Nield architects was approved in early 2002, it included a 60 storey Shangri La hotel with a Collins Street address and a mix of commercial and residential towers, as well as the refurbishment of the southern half of Goods Shed No. 2 into a night market and food hall.

In mid 2007, a new, more commercially orientated masterplan was prepared by Bates Smart. In it a new 38 storey office tower replaces the Shangri La on Collins Street and the number of streets is reduced from four to three, replaced by pedestrian thoroughfares. Overall there will now be four office buildings, ranging in height from 155m (to roof) to 36 m and two residential towers, as well as a child care centre and the refurbishment of the Goods Shed with a 'lantern' structure addressing Collins Street. The entire precinct is aiming for a 6 Star Green Star rating.

On December 17 2007, Walker Corporation launched the next phase of construction, beginning with demolition works and site preparation. [ [ Walker Corporation - Recent News ] ] [ [ Microsoft Word - COM_SERVICE_PROD-#4241814-v2-AUG07_DMPC_COMMUNITY_AND_INFR ] ] []

tadium Precinct

The Stadium precinct, which sits on the eastern edge of Docklands, consists of Telstra Dome, Seven Network's Melbourne Digital Broadcast Centre, Victoria Point apartments, Bendigo Bank offices, and Quest serviced apartments. It is linked to Southern Cross Station and the Melbourne CBD by the Bourke Street pedestrian bridge, built over railway lines.

Telstra Dome (originally Docklands Stadium then Colonial Stadium) was opened in March 2000. The ability for the structure to have both open and closed roof configurations has seen it host many sports events, including Australian Rules Football, soccer, cricket and rugby as well as concerts.

The complex is managed by Stadium Operations Ltd, which is owned by the Seven Network, with ownership transferring to the Australian Football League in 2025.

Developer Pan Urban has announced plans for a $300 million twin-tower apartment development known as Lacrosse Docklands for the North East Stadium Precinct with the towers set to rise 21 and 18 storeys respectively, above the stadium concourse, with restaurants and bars opening out on to the concourse, forming a retail plaza. [ [ Docklands ] ]

A consortium made up of ISPT, CBUS Property and EPC Partners, has been awarded the rights for the South East Stadium Precinct. Plans for the site to be known as Bourke Junction include office towers of 29 and 21 storeys on the north-eastern and south-western corners of the site, as well as three lower-rise buildings housing a 250 room hotel, a pub, medical centre, retail facilities, a business club and a two-level gymnasium [ [ Docklands ] ] []

Digital Harbour @ Comtechport Precinct

This precinct on the waterfront has an area of 44,000 square metres, with development intended to eventually expand to include 220,000 square metres of commercial, residential, SOHO units and retail space. At present only two buildings have been completed; 1010 LaTrobe Street/Port 1010 (home to VicTrack, Australian Customs Services), and the Innovation Building (home of the Telstra Learning Academy and Innovation Centre ). A third building, Life.lab is currently under construction, while a fourth, 1000 LaTrobe Street, is expected to commence shortly.

Port 1010 received the Commercial Architecture Award at the 2007 Victorian Architecture Awards held on Friday 13 July. [ [ Digital Harbour - latest news ] ] []

Victoria Harbour

The Victoria Harbour Precinct is the centrepiece of Melbourne Docklands. The precinct includes a proposed extension of Collins and Bourke Streets to meet at the water's edge. It has an area of 280,000 square metres with 3.7 kilometres of waterfront; the 12-year construction plans for Victoria Harbour include residential apartments, commercial office space, retail space, community facilities and the development of public spaces such as Grand Plaza, Harbour Esplanade, Docklands Park and Central Pier.

Victoria Harbour features the colourful National Australia Bank headquarters, located at 800 Bourke Street, which accommodates approximately 3,600 staff. The building features large, open flexible floor plates, sunny atria in the heart of the building, a campus-style workplace and a four-star energy rating.

Almost 1,000 Ericsson employees also call Victoria Harbour home, with the company's new Melbourne offices at 818 Bourke Street now complete. Ericsson House sits on the water's edge next door to National Australia Bank HQ and Dock 5 apartments

The first residential tower to be built at Victoria Harbour, was Dock 5. Rising 30 storeys, it was designed by award-winning Melbourne firm John Wardle Architects and derives its name from its location which was known as Dock 5.

The Gauge, at 825 Bourke Street will house the new offices of developer Lend Lease and fujitsu. The eight-storey building was designed to achieve a six-star energy rating, becoming the second building in Docklands to do so.

A Safeway supermarket is also underway on the corner of Bourke and Merchant Streets (opposite The Gauge), along with a number of other retail tenancies at street level and a childcare centre and offices above.

In September 2006, plans were unveiled for ANZ's new world headquarters to be located at Victoria Harbour. The complex will feature a vast low rise office building, shops, car parking facilities and a childcare centre. The new complex will enable 5500 ANZ staff to work in one integrated area, however ANZ will maintain its flagship building, 100 Queen Street Melbourne. The new ANZ headquarters will be the largest office complex in Australia. Construction commenced in late 2006 with completion expected in late 2008. The building will rise at 833 Collins Street, after the extension of Collins Street to meet Bourke Street is completed. It has been designed to achieve a six-star energy rating.

On Tuesday 7 August,2007, Myer announced that it had chosen Victoria Harbour as the location for its new Corporate Store Support Offices. The new offices will be built at 800 Collins Street opposite ANZ. []


[] Opened in 2002, NewQuay is a residential and commercial development currently with five residential towers and a podium building developed by MAB Corporation. Looking at the development from the water, the buildings are the Nolan, Arkley, Palladio, Sant'Elia, Boyd, and Conder.

The flagship building Palladio - which is shaped like the prow of a ship - is named after Italian architect Andrea Palladio.The podium building, Sant'Elia is named after another Italian architect Antonio Sant'Elia. The rest are named after Australian artists: Sidney Nolan, Howard Arkley, Arthur Boyd, and Charles Conder.

Aquavista, completed in May 2007, is a strata office development and the first commercial building to be completed in NewQuay as part of the HQ NewQuay development. Another, the seven-storey 370 Docklands Drive is currently under construction with a further two buildings - Lots 5 & 9 - currently under design development. [ [ HQ NewQuay: Lots 5 & 9 ] ]

On October 17, 2007, MAB Corporation launched 'The Avenues at NewQuay' development, comprising of three-storey townhouse residences, with park and waterfront frontages, to be built as part of NewQuay's western precinct. The development is being designed by Plus Architecture. [ [ NewQuay Docklands - “The Avenues at NewQuay” Melbourne’s Multi-Million Dollar Waterside Housing Precinct : Melbourne's inner-city waterfront precinct ] ] [ [ Marina Avenue & Parkside Avenue ] ]

There is also harbourside dining at cafés in the precinct. The types of cuisines include Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Cantonese, Moroccan, Cambodian and Modern Australian. []

Yarra's Edge

Yarra's Edge is a residential precinct, and the only Docklands precinct south of the Yarra River being developed by Mirvac. When complete, it will consist of 11 apartment towers, costing AU$1.3 billion, and cover 0.15 km².

Yarra's Edge was one of the first developments in the Docklands, with construction of Tower 1 commencing in 2000. It is divided into 3 smaller precincts:

The Marina Precinct: Comprising the marina and boardwalk with six residential towers ranging in height from 25 to 47 storeys

The Park Precinct: Comprising Point Park and two residential towers

The River Precinct: Comprising a mix of lower level less, intense terrace-style developments and three high-rise towers towards the Bolte Bridge

To date only five apartment towers have been completed as well as the RekDek (located in the podium of Tower 1 and featuring a gymnasium and 25metre lap pool), a public promenade, Point Park (with an outlook towards the CBD) and mix of restaurants, cafes and retail including a day spa and convenience store. Yarra's Edge also has a 175-berth marina, giving boat owners previously unavailable proximity to Crown Casino and the city.


Webb Bridge is an award winning bridge designed by Denton Corker Marshall in collaboration with artist Robert Owen, forming a cycling and pedestrian link to the main part of Docklands through Docklands Park. It is the conversion of the former Webb Bridge rail link. The bridge is near the Charles Grimes Bridge over the Yarra.

outhern Cross (previously Spencer Street) Station

Waterfront City


Features include (from left), some residential and commercial buildings along the harbour at New Quay, the Seven Network digital broadcast centre, some of the original (now renovated) Melbourne docks sheds on Central Pier, the Telstra Dome (Docklands Stadium), the Victoria Point apartments, and the colourful lowrise National Australia Bank headquarters. In the background is the Melbourne CBD skyline, including the Rialto Towers and the Eureka Tower. The construction in progress of some buildings in Docklands shows the still evolving nature of this part of the city.]
Waterfront City is a shopping and entertainment area that includes the Southern Star Observation Wheel. Shops and cafes will be centred around this area.

The precinct on Victoria Harbour features an integration of retail, waterfront entertainment, tourism, dining, commercial and urban community. It has an area of 193,000 square metres.

Stage One was completed in December 2005 in time for the Melbourne Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race in January – February 2006 and the Commonwealth Games in March 2006. The precinct currently features a large circus tent which hosts the International Circus Spectacular.

Stage Two includes plans for a public entertainment area incorporating the Southern Star Observation Wheel, a 120 metre high Ferris wheel in the shape of a seven-pointed star [] and a brand direct outlet centre, Harbour Town. Waterfront City will also feature restaurants, cafes, bars as well as cinemas, bowling and other family entertainment options. Stage Two is due for completion in late 2008.


Melbourne Central City Studios

Opened in 2004, "Melbourne Central City Studios" is Melbourne's largest film and television studio complex. The site is located approximately 1.5 km from the city's Central Business District. It has an area of 60,000 square metres and currently consists of five film and television sound stages of various sizes, from 743 to 2,323 square metres, and one warehouse/workshop measuring 6,793 square metres.

Eventually the Studios will include seven sound stages plus buildings to house art departments, wardrobe facilities, a construction workshop, production offices and storage.The Studios will cater for all forms of production including domestic and international television drama, TV commercials and film production and will achieve the Government's requirement of access for local production.

The first major contract for the new studios was the American film "Ghost Rider"; with a budget of nearly $120 million, it is the biggest feature film to be made in Victoria and features scenes involving Melbourne landmarks. Also filmed at the new studios was the international production of "Charlotte's Web", a film based on the book. []

GTV-9 (Nine Network) is currently renting out a sound stage at the studios for its big budget game show "1 vs. 100". The game show was initially intended to be shot at GTV-9 but due to the space that the "1 vs. 100" set takes up, no studios in the building were big enough to accommodate the show.

Docklands rave history

While the Docklands precinct is now a modern urban reconstruction zone, many of Melbourne's younger generation will remember the site as host to a number of dance parties hosted by Future Entertainment and Hardware Corporation during the 1990s.

DJs and performers such as Paul van Dyk, Carl Cox, Jeff Mills, Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, Marshall Jefferson and BT headlined these events.

The biggest event hosted, in terms of attendance, was the "Welcome 2000" New Years Eve dance party hosted on 31 December 1999. The rave garnered worldwide attention from the dance music press and was one of the City of Melbourne's most celebrated and successful millennium events.

Photo gallery


External links

* [ Official website]
* [ NewQuay website]
* [ Waterfront City website]
* [ Victoria Harbour website]
* [ Yarra's Edge website]
* [ Digital Harbour website]
* [ Victoria Online - Docklands Authority]
* [ Australian Places - Docklands]


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