Riverlee Wins Approval for $450m Northbank Revamp


Property developer Riverlee has won planning approval for its $450 million redevelopment of the Northbank Goods Shed beside the Yarra River.

The project, named Seafarers Place, plans to revitalise the disused industrial waterfront site with a 5-star luxury hotel and mixed-use precinct and help connect the CBD and Docklands.

While an operator has yet to be announced for the hotel, the developer confirmed that it will be a "new brand" for Melbourne.

Riverlee Group acquired the Northbank site, located between Spencer Street and Charles Grimes Bridge, three years ago from the state government for $28.5 million.

The development will comprise 280 hotel rooms and 150 luxury apartments as well as a 1000-seat function centre and ground floor retail.

Related: Developer Riverlee Taking Bids for Health Precinct in Melbourne’s $1.2bn “New Epping”

Riverlee's $450 million Northbank
Seafarers Place has been designed by Fender Katsilidis and heritage consultants Lovell Chen, with landscape designers OCULUS.Image: Fender Katsalidis Architects

Seafarers Place got City of Melbourne approval in February and now the state Planning Department has given the project the green light.

Plans for a 3,500sq m public park and rejuvenation work on the historic wharf and heritage-listed crane have also been factored into development plans.

Riverlee’s development director David Lee said Seafarer’s Place is a truly collaborative project and the developer is “committed to rebuilding connections between people and places by delivering a masterplanned precinct that is rich in history, adding to Melbourne’s vibrant culture.”

“The open spaces and public park are designed to give the waterfront back to the community and celebrate the unique character and history of the site.”

Related: Ashe Morgan’s $67m Dockland’s Fresh Food Precinct Starts Construction

Riverlee Northbank
The development has been heralded as the “missing link” between Melbourne's CBD, Docklands and the Yarra Promenade.Image: Fender Katsalidis Architects

The site’s historic Goods Shed known as "Shed 5" will be restored and repurposed into a premium waterfront event space.

“This regeneration project is significant in many ways and has been collaboratively designed with all of our partners and important government stakeholders, including the City of Melbourne, Department of Planning, Department of Treasury and Finance, Heritage Victoria, and many others,” Lee said.

Wharf and crane restoration works have started with the construction of the new hotel due to start mid-2019.

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