About The Area

About The Area

Docklands Melbourne

Docklands (also known as Melbourne Docklands to differentiate it from London Docklands) is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2 km (1.2 mi) west of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Melbourne. At the 2011 Census, Docklands had a population of 5,791.

Docklands occupies an area adjacent to the Melbourne CBD. It is bounded by Spencer Street, Wurundjeri Way and the Charles Grimes Bridge to the east, CityLink to the west and Lorimer Street across the Yarra to the south and is a primarily waterfront area centred on the banks of the Yarra River.

Contemporary Docklands is the product of an ongoing urban renewal project to extend the area of the Melbourne CBD (excluding Southbank and St Kilda Road) by over a third when completed around 2015. It is now home to several of Melbourne's modern landmarks, including Etihad Stadium, Southern Cross Station and the Melbourne Star Ferris wheel.

Docklands Stadium was built in 1996 as a centrepiece to kick-start developer interest in Docklands as a viable renewal area. Urban renewal began in earnest 2000, with several independent privately developed areas overseen by VicUrban, an agency of the State government of Victoria. The brief for the master plan was for wide open water promenades and road boulevards with contributions of landscaping and public art commissions to be made by each developer and construction was to adhere to strict milestones. VicUrban promotes its vision of Docklands as being a major tourist attraction and projected over 20 million visitors a year and a future (2015) residential population of over 20,000.

A handful of significant buildings were retained, generally due to their association with the area's industrial and maritime history. Most of these heritage buildings are intended for adaptive reuse and integrated with new facilities.

Docklands has become a sought-after business address, attracting the national headquarters of the National Australia Bank, ANZ, Medibank Private, Bureau of Meteorology, Myer, National Foods as well as the regional headquarters for Ericsson and Bendigo Bank. The business park model of medium-rise office buildings combined with transport and proximity to the City Centre is seen by many in the real estate industry to be one of the reasons behind the success of the Docklands office market.

Docklands is also the home to a number of water sports, including Dragon Boat racing.

While still incomplete, Docklands developer-centric planning has been widely criticised and many Melbourne politicians and media commentators lament its lack of green open space, pedestrian activity, transport links and culture.

Waterfront City

A bronze statue of Kylie, on a star-shaped pedestal, portrays her in a dancing pose. Her legs are crossed and she bends at the waist, with both arms stretched above her head. The statue stands in a public square in front of a modern glass building, and several people are walking.
Bronze statue of singer and actress, Kylie Minogue, at Waterfront City, Melbourne Docklands

Waterfront City and Southern Star Ferris wheel (in 2008 before disassembly)

Waterfront City is a shopping and entertainment area that includes the Melbourne Star Ferris wheel, Icehouse ice sports and entertainment centre, and numerous shops and cafes which are centred on this area.

The precinct 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, as well as a mosaic of local entertainers and a number of bronze statues, including Kylie Minogue, John Farnham, Graham Kennedy, Nellie Melba and Dame Edna Everage.

Stage Two includes a public entertainment area incorporating the Melbourne Star (previously Southern Star), a 120-metre (390 ft) tall Ferris wheel in the shape of a seven-pointed star, and the Harbour Town brand direct outlet centre. Harbour Town is home to Australia's first Costco Warehouse Store. Waterfront City also features restaurants, cafes, bars, as well as cinemas, bowling and other family entertainment options.

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