Lend Lease to develop $1.6bn precinct at Docklands

VICTORIAN Planning Minister Matthew Guy last week announced that Lend Lease will develop Docklands' last major parcel of uncontracted land to create a $1.5 billion precinct that will link central Melbourne to Docklands, following the execution of a Development Agreement for parcels 5B, 6 and 6A of the Batman's Hill redevelopment site between Lend Lease and Places Victoria.

The development of the 2.5 hectare site will be staged over approximately ten years and is proposed to include more than 100,000 square metres of office space across four buildings, associated retail space and approximately 600 apartments.

Mr Guy said the site has enormous strategic importance as it supports a link between the CBD and Docklands. The site is located diagonally across from Southern Cross Station, has a Collins Street address and Flinders Street frontage that includes air rights above the Wurundjeri Way road reserve adjacent to the rail corridor.

Commercial buildings targeting a 6-Star Green Star rating are planned to front Collins Street and residential developments targeting a 5-Star Green Star rating are planned for the Flinders Street address. Subject to planning approval and market demand, construction of the project is planned to commence in 2014.

Lend Lease will also deliver public domain, infrastructure and community space. A north-south laneway, resembling the scale of those in the CBD, is expected to connect Southern Cross Station and Collins Street to Flinders Street, the Northbank precinct and Yarra River.

"This site will be the first developed link between the CDB and Docklands and once completed will allow the removal of the bridge over Wurrundjeri Way to give pedestrians a sense of the natural continuation of Collins Street," Mr Guy said.

"As the last major development site in Docklands to be contracted to the market, the site will,  over the next decade, bring a diverse range of public spaces, new residential and office accommodation, retail amenity and potentially a hotel.

"Practically all 140 hectares of Docklands' developable land is now contracted for development. To date, 50 per cent of that land has been developed into the newest part of Melbourne's CBD. Docklands is becoming a waterfront destination that will be home to 20,000 residents and 60,000 workers upon completion in approximately 2025," Mr Guy said.

Lend Lease Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, said the company was delighted to have been selected for the major redevelopment site in central Melbourne.

"The execution of a development agreement reflects our strong capabilities in mixed use inner-urban development, and the success we have demonstrated at Victoria Harbour in collaboration with Places Victoria," Mr McCann said.

"The project leverages our integrated model, including development, construction and funds management and further builds on our Victorian commercial office and residential backlog."

Places Victoria CEO, Peter Seamer, said as master developer of Docklands, the organisation has attracted more than $8.8 billion of private sector investment and secured up to 3,000 jobs in the construction industry annually since the urban renewal project began in 2000.

"There is currently $1.02 billion worth of construction activity underway across seven projects that will deliver 741 apartments and office space for more than 3,630 workers, helping to grow Docklands' current population from more than 8,000 residents and 38,000 workers," Mr Seamer said.

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