Seafarers project moving ahead

By Meg Hill

The state government has given final endorsement to Riverlee’s $500 million Seafarer project at North Wharf.

The site, home to the heritage-listed Good Shed 5 located next to the Mission to Seafarers building, has remained dormant for more than 40 years and is one of the last remaining waterfront opportunities in the precinct.

Riverlee development director David Lee said Seafarers was a key development project for the City of Melbourne.

“Over the past 10 years, we’ve been dedicated to planning and designing a new riverfront precinct that will inspire, excite and bring new life to the Yarra in a never before seen way in Melbourne,” he said.

“It is a huge achievement to see activity start on site and we hope this will provide a glimmer of hope to the Melbourne economy.”

The project is scheduled for completion in 2023, when the site will house Australia’s first brand 1 Hotel.

The sustainable mixed-use riverfront precinct will include 123 luxury residences (Seafarers Residences) and 277 guest rooms.

It will also include a lobby lounge bar, world-class event venue and meeting spaces, a health centre and a 3500 sqm public park – Seafarers Rest – which has been pledged in partnership with the City of Melbourne and the state government.

As reported in our sister publication Docklands News this month, restoration work on the historic Goods Shed 5 began last month. Key elements like the roof trusses, doors and windows will be taken offsite for remediation and returned during the construction phase.

The precinct also includes the post-war era wharf, and Melbourne’s last-remaining original electric crane, which was restored by the developer last year. Planning is also underway by the council and state government for the establishment of a maritime heritage centre at the neighbouring Missions to Seafarers building, which will combine with Riverlee’s development and the new park to create a maritime hub in Melbourne.

Riverlee estimates that more than 1000 construction-related jobs will be created each year during the build.

It is also estimated that 1 Hotel Melbourne will generate around 310 full-time jobs once it opens and will further boost Melbourne’s tourism industry with up to 105,000 visitors estimated per annum •

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