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The northside story

30 Oct 2009

The northside story Image

There’s great movement along the north banks of the Yarra and, with some works underway and major redevelopments in the offing, the North Wharf, Northbank Promenade and World Trade Centre (WTC) areas are being transformed.

While Northbank Promenade and the WTC are already well underway, North Wharf, the area upstream of the Charles Grimes Bridge and bounded by the river, Wurundjeri Way, Siddeley St and Flinders Wharf, is being redeveloped by the State Government.

A Government spokesperson has confirmed North Wharf will offer a mix of the old and new, and will be “rejuvenated through a combination of rich maritime history and landscapes, and contemporary public open spaces and architecture”.

The spokesperson said: “North Wharf will be seamlessly connected to the Yarra’s north and south banks and present a new entry to Docklands and Southern Cross Station.”

“North Wharf will become an integral part of Melbourne’s riverside … offering intimate and protected spaces through a network of fine-scaled public lanes and human-scaled buildings alongside an expansive river front and open vistas.”

Work has already begun on the $15 million Northbank Promenade project and the Government and the City of Melbourne aim “to maximise the benefits of the close proximity of the Yarra River to the city with improved walking and cycling links to and along the north bank.”

The Northbank Promenade will ultimately connect the central city and Docklands, and will complete a major link in the Capital City Cycling Trail. It involves two key projects:

  • Refurbishment and widening of existing promenade at the WTC and construction of a floating pontoon with boat berthing.
  • The construction of an underpass below the Charles Grimes Bridge.

The WTC has already launched the first phase of a $100 million WTC Wharf development which is now open for business. This includes an internal mall and new restaurants. Phase two of will be ready this summer, with phase three, to be completed next year.

Occupying more than 150 metres of waterfront and over 70,000sqm of office space, the WTC has advised the development will include progressive upgrades of the river frontage to “create a vibrant waterfront retail and restaurant promenade and boardwalk”.

Additional community infrastructure will incorporate bicycle storage, childcare centre, water access, new business centre with a range of retail and other business outlets.

Today there are two North Wharf places listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, the beautiful landmark Mission to Seafarers building that has been serving the seafaring community since 1916 and Shed 5 (including the crane).

Although the Government vision for the redevelopment is in its early days, guiding principles include, to:

  • Enhance an authentic place;
  • Respect and enhance heritage;
  • Provide a public space destination;
  • Connect North Wharf movement and access;
  • Attract a critical mass of diverse uses; and
  • Ensure appropriate built form and scale.
  • Be sustainable;
  • Encourage user participation; and
  • Ensure long-term delivery.
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Comments

  • Tamara Ristevski at 2:42pm on 26/11/09

    Is there a contact for the North Wharf precinct. We are looking for a dinner function space to accommodate approximately 150 across the river from the Convention Centre. Our function will be held in middle May 2010.

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