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Docklands’ boom supports Victoria

01 May 2012

By Daniel Kemp

Where would Victoria be without the $2.2 billion that Docklands is currently injecting into the state economy?

The property industry claims to be the largest contributor to the Victorian economy and nowhere is it more active than here in Docklands.

The Property Council of Australia says property contributed $36.9 billion to total Victorian Gross State Product (GSP) in 2009-10. This is more than manufacturing and more than financial and insurance services.

And while the financial brakes have been applied in other parts of the state, Docklands is booming.

Some 16 Docklands-scale projects are currently underway – representing more than 360,000 sqm of gross floor area and including more than 1500 new homes.

Places Victoria’s Docklands manager Simon Wilson said: “Development in Docklands continues to soar with more than $2.2 billion worth of commercial and residential development currently under construction.”

Mr Wilson said Docklands would welcome more than 4500 employees before Christmas.

“In the coming months, Docklands will welcome more than 4500 new employees to the area, taking Docklands’ working population to an estimated 27,000 employees by December 2012,” Mr Wilson said.

This month and June will see an influx of more than 3000 new workers with both the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and Melbourne Water set to open new offices here.

ATO assistant commissioner of property operations Stewart Smillie said that more than 2400 workers would be moving into its new building at 735 Collins St from May 26.

“We will be consolidating five existing office sites from across Melbourne into one location at Docklands. We’re keen to have the right infrastructure in place for the coming 25 years, and Docklands was the best place for this,” Mr Smillie said.

“The planned retail development at Collins Square is very impressive and will be great for our staff, and we feel confident that they will have everything they need here going forwards. The public transport links here, with two tram stops on our doorstep, also contributed towards making Docklands an attractive proposition for us,” Mr Smillie added.

Melbourne Water’s new premises are at 990 LaTrobe St, in the south-east corner of Digital Harbour. General manager of business services Malcolm Haynes was enthusiastic about the move, stating the building was almost ready for 770 employees to be relocated in June.

“After many years of spreading our city-based offices across four locations, we’re pleased to be able to bring everyone under one roof in Docklands,” Mr Haynes said.  “We work across greater Melbourne and beyond and the Docklands offers a central location with a good range of amenities and access to public transport,” he said.

Both corporations were also keen to emphasise the green credentials offered by Docklands locations.

“Melbourne Water’s move is the culmination of a rigorous tendering process with a strong focus on value for money and sustainability. Our new Docklands office will be far more water and energy efficient than the older buildings from which we’re locating,” Mr Haynes added.

Mr Smillie said: “Our tender process ensured that the new ATO building will provide great value for money to the Commonwealth, as well as being environmentally sustainable.”

The new commercial tenants to arrive soon to Docklands include:

New commercial tenant    Estimated number of employees    Building    Developer    Date of completion (estimated)
Australian Taxation Office    2400    Quattro, Collins Square, 745 Collins St    Walker Corporation    May 2012
Melbourne Water    770    Melbourne Water, 990 LaTrobe Street    Digital Harbour Holdings    June 2012
Aurecon    900    846 – 850 Collins St    Lend Lease    October 2012
Pearson Publishing    600    Goods Shed South, 711 Collins St    Walker Corporation    December 2012

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