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Finally the fog lifts on South Wharf

30 Oct 2009

Finally the fog lifts on South Wharf Image

We’ve all known that something was going on over there, and last month the construction hoardings came down and South Wharf revealed itself as a massive retail precinct on our doorstep.

Upgrades to the M1 Freeway at Montague St has meant months of chaos for Docklands residents and the construction at South Wharf merely added to the upheaval.

But out of the blur is emerging a beautiful multi-purpose complex that is part residential, part commercial and mostly retail.

The new Hilton Hotel provided our first glamorous glimpse of the precinct when it opened in April

South Wharf is the new home to outlet retailer DFO. Its existing Spencer St store is to become full price retail and will be known as simply “Spencer Street”.

The new DFO will have 109 stores in an expansive underground mall which is known as The Basement. Some 85 are already open with the rest to open in December. On ground level is the lifestyle precinct and a homemakers centre is on level 1.

Restored heritage cargo sheds along the river bank form the nucleus of a new restaurant precinct. This area is expected to open in March.

Some 28 townhouses overlook the Yarra and there are a further 10 studio offices.

And overseeing it all is a 12-storey office tower. ANL has the naming rights and will take the top three floors. Kraft is another confirmed tenant and will occupy levels five and six.

Of the three remaining floors, Austexx precinct manager Andrew Rowley said only half remained uncommitted.

Mr Rowley said South Wharf’s location and freeway access made it particularly attractive for retail and office development.

And he said with the opening of Crown’s new 658-room hotel and the addition of 6500 office workers at nearby ANZ in Docklands, the area was set to boom.

Austexx opened its first DFO 15 years ago and South Wharf is its ninth. The South Wharf development is the biggest in its portfolio.

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