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Plans for vacant site set for release

29 May 2019

Plans for vacant site set for release Image

By David Schout

A master plan for the remaining undeveloped land at The District Docklands will be released in June.

Owners Ashe Morgan will host a community consultation session on June 6 to detail plans for the mixed-use area bound by Footscray Rd, Waterfront Way and Little Docklands Drive.

Currently, the only building on the site is The District’s multi-level eastern car park, the ground floor and mezzanine of which are in the final stages of redevelopment into “Market Lane” – a space that will include a fresh food market, Woolworths and Dan Murphy’s.

The June 6 meeting will detail plans for the vacant land to the east of the car park.

“Ashe Morgan is proud to introduce its vision for the precinct and welcomes all residents, business owners and stakeholders to view the proposed plans and provide feedback,” the consultation’s flyer read.

While details of the master plan could not be released before the meeting, Louda Property (Ashe Morgan’s local development managers) directors told Docklands News the mixed-use site would include entertainment, employment and residential elements.

“The idea with the community consultation is that, because the site is mixed-use, and because of the scale of the site, we want to gauge what people would like to see, and their vision for it,” director Corrie Warburton said.

The previous development plan for the site was approved by the state government back in 2003.

“A lot has changed since then,” Louda co-director Brad Hennessy said.

Mr Hennessy said the company had been in regular contact with residents and retail operators in the area, and the community forum was about bringing together the ideas set to go before local and state government.

He said the site was also about “addressing the daily needs of residents”, something the new Market Lane would do from its opening in October.

In March, The District CEO George Karabatsos touched on the importance of community engagement in an interview with Docklands News.

“Unless you’re in tune with how the community around you is growing and changing, what their needs are and the amenities they need, then you kind of miss the boat,” he said.

The future of the Waterfront City East site is significant for a number of reasons, but perhaps chiefly as it will sit across from the new Docklands Primary School, set to open in 2021.

Proposed to help meet demand of a growing inner-Melbourne population, the school (a name for which will be determined at a later date) will cater for up to 525 students, and will include a library and indoor gym, as well as art and music areas.

The new masterplan will be one of the final pieces of the puzzle in The District’s $250 million revitalisation.

The plan is due to be lodged with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in late June.

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