New park to revitalise historic maritime precinct in Docklands

Seafarers Rest Ceremony
Seafarers Rest Park Docklands
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Brendan Rees

Construction will begin on a new public park along the Yarra River as part of a new precinct in Docklands providing a key link to the City of Melbourne’s future Greenline project.

The 3500sqm park, to be named “Seafarers Rest”, will feature open lawns connecting the river promenade, a play area for children and families, dog-friendly access, seating, and better accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

Situated between The Mission to Seafarers heritage building and Seafarers Bridge connecting to South Wharf, Seafarers Rest is being developed as part of Riverlee's Seafarers Precinct on the north bank of the Yarra-Birrarung.

Riverlee said the park would offer a “vital green oasis” that acknowledged both Indigenous cultural heritage and maritime history.

This included rope swings, timber seating reminiscent of shipping crates, and curated local maritime artefacts from the Offshore and Speciality Ships Association (OSSA) including a fluke anchor and a propellor.

 

 

The park, to be completed later this year, is part of Riverlee’s restoration and redevelopment of the heritage-listed Goods Shed No.5 into a $600-million mixed-use precinct.

This will be home to 114 hotel-branded residences and 277 hotel rooms by 1 Hotel & Homes Melbourne, a new eco-luxury lifestyle brand for Australia.

It is also set to form a key link in the council’s Greenline project, which will revitalise the north bank of the Yarra River, creating a four-kilometre promenade of parks, open spaces and cultural activations.

During her speech at a ground-breaking ceremony on April 11, Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the project marked the first 150 metres of the new “maritime precinct” that would form part of the council’s Greenline vision.

Representatives from developer Riverlee, the City of Melbourne, 1 Hotel and landscape design practice OCULUS joined the Lord Mayor on April 11 for the ground-breaking ceremony to mark the milestone.

Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece and councillors Jamal Hakim and Kevin Louey were also there to celebrate the occasion.

Riverlee’s development director David Lee said the construction of Seafarers Rest was the final piece in the urban renewal of the Seafarers precinct.

“Seafarers Rest and the broader precinct marks a transformative milestone in the rejuvenation of Melbourne's Northbank,” he said.

 

Together with the City of Melbourne, we're revitalising this underutilised and forgotten urban space, reclaiming it as a safe and vibrant green haven for all Melbournians and visitors to enjoy.

 

Lord Mayor Sally Capp expressed her excitement, saying it was an important step in transforming the north bank of the Yarra River.

“The Greenline Project will transform Melbourne’s riverfront from Birrarung Marr to the Bolte Bridge – while creating thousands of jobs, attracting waves of new visitors, and injecting millions of dollars into the economy,” she said.

“Riverlee's investment is a huge vote of confidence for this city-shaping project and the future of Melbourne.”

Riverlee restored the Goods Shed’s iconic travelling crane in 2019 and relocated it to the eastern end of the building, “symbolically integrating it into Seafarers Rest as a beacon for the project”.

More than 1000 community participants together with the City of Melbourne, and stakeholders provided their input into the park’s design including reflecting local interests and heritage.

OSSA chairman Ross Brewer spoke of his delight at the ceremony saying the park would honour the port’s legacy while allowing visitors to engage in reflection and discovery.

“The heritage is going to live on, it’ll be there for people to see, for the children to see, to actually take and feel and touch and see – to me that is absolutely wonderful,” he said.

Mr Brewer added a plague honouring maritime history was ready to be displayed at Seafarers Rest.

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May 29th, 2024 - Docklands News
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