Construction giant Lend Lease is set to remake the last major site in Melbourne’s signature Docklands area after signing an agreement with the Victorian state government to undertake a 10-year, $1.5 billion regeneration project that will complete a link between Melbourne and the Docklands.

In a statement, the company says it has executed a development agreement with Places Victoria for Parcels 5B, 6 & 6A of the 2.5-hectare Batman’s Hill redevelopment site, located on Collins Street and Flinders Street.

Set to be staged over 10 years and provide more than 10,000 construction jobs over the life of the project (beginning in 2014, subject to planning approvals and market demand), the development includes:

  • more than 100,000 square metres of office space to cater to around 10,000 workers
  • approximately 600 apartments
  • 1,000 square metres of community spaces
  • a covered public square, which is flanked by a community building and the commercial towers
  • a public realm design that reinterprets the history of Batman’s Hill
  • a north-south laneway resembling the scale of those in the CBD, which will connect Southern Cross Station and Collins Street to Flinders Street, the Northbank precinct and Yarra River.

State Planning Minister Matthew Guy says the site has enormous strategic importance in linking the old and new parts of the Melbourne CBD and that the project would deliver significant benefits to the state’s economy.

“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”, Guy says, adding that the site, located diagonally across from South Cross Station, has a prestigious Collins Street address and Flinders Street frontage that includes air rights above the Wurundjeri Way road reserve adjacent to the rail corridor.

“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.”

Places Victoria chief executive officer Peter Seamer says the area has attracted more than $8.8 billion in private investment since its renewal began in 2000. Places Victoria is the state body charged with acting as the master developer of the Docklands area.

“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,” Seamer says.

Guy says that by 2025, Docklands will be a waterfront destination home to approximately 20,000 residents and 60,000 workers.

Lend Lease Group chief operating officer and managing director Steve McCann says the execution of the deal builds on the group’s commercial and residential backlog in Victoria and reflects the group’s success in working with Places Victoria to deliver other projects, such as Victoria Harbour.