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Docklander - April 2015

01 Apr 2015

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Living the Docklands dream

Mark Scholem has more connections with Docklands than most who live here.

He’s not just a local resident, but also co-owns a Docklands business and works for a Docklands-based company.

Mr Scholem and his partner John first moved to Docklands in 2006 after realising how much potential the area had.

“I think we immediately saw the great potential for apartment living and having a city lifestyle but without the density and hustle of the city,” Mr Scholem said.

“The promise of things that were going to come, that we’d seen in the master plan, looked so promising and still does and a lot has been delivered of course.”

He said being one of the earlier Victoria Harbour residents provided a great opportunity to contribute to Docklands development as a community.

“My thought was that if we were part of the early stages we’d benefit from that growth and be able to contribute to the culture and the atmosphere and the environment as well.”

Two years after moving to Docklands, Mr Scholem and his partner further cemented their connection with the area by opening New Energy Physiotherapy in Merchant St.

Mr Scholem said Victoria Harbour was a vibrant precinct that was quickly developing into a hub for Docklanders.

“It’s got the combination of the restaurants, the cafes, the commercial people, professionals of all different ages and services like the doctor, pharmacy and supermarket,” Mr Scholem said.

“I think this area has the best combination of development.  The library is a fantastic addition and the plan for North Wharf with medium density apartments is going to look fantastic. It will really be an iconic development in Melbourne.”

A Docklands resident, business owner and worker, Mr Scholem is also a community representative on the Docklands Community Forum.

“I was looking for a way to take part in the whole of Docklands and a way to contribute my skills and abilities to the whole of Docklands’ growth at a community level,” Mr Scholem said.

Having lived in Docklands since 2006 (apart from a two-year break mid-way) Mr Scholem has had the chance to watch Docklands grow and change.

Apart from the scale of development, Mr Scholem said some of the biggest changes had been in the perception of Docklands by those who live here and those who don’t.

“I’ve felt the mindset of people change,” Mr Scholem said. “People have been more proud of Docklands and perhaps not so self critical.”

“I think the external community is slowly looking at Docklands and thinking, ‘okay, it might actually be alright’,” he said.

For Mr Scholem, Docklands is well and truly home and he looks forward to what its future will bring.

“We’re permanent residents now and wouldn’t move away from the area, it’s a really marvellous part of Melbourne,” he said.

“In five years time it will be very different and it won’t be anything like what we saw in 2006,” Mr Scholem said. “It will be what we imagined in 2006.”

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