Docklands is abuzz with a multitude of development projects announced this week including plans for a new $18 million park and community oval, a running track and now a $130 million mixed use hotel development for the new Digital Harbour Precinct.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the approvals, calling the project a huge boost for the northern end of the Docklands precinct.

“Docklands continues to evolve as Australia’s most exciting urban renewal precinct with good transport connections to Melbourne’s CBD,” he said. “This new development adds to the high quality residential and hotel accommodation offered by Melbourne.”

The 37-storey residential and hotel building will consist of 360 apartments – 60 of which will be hotel serviced apartments – along with a 4.5 star 176-room Sheraton Four Points hotel.

Digital Harbour director David Napier has said the precinct had already received 130 to 140 registrations of interest for the 300 residential apartments.

Matthew Guy

Planning Minister, Matthew Guy

Designed by architectural firm Moull Murray, the hotel complex will be located at 38 Harbour Esplanade in one of the last remaining spaces in the northern Digital Harbour Precinct and will include a 200-seat restaurant, swimming pool, gym, conference centre and 255 car spaces.

“This proposal will complete the Dudley Street/Harbour Esplanade gateway of Docklands and build on the precinct’s services and public spaces in this growing neighbourhood,” said Guy. “It reflects the next stage in the evolution of this waterfront precinct and reinforces its role as a place for economic investment, a tourist draw card and a great place to live.”

He added that the plans will ensure the development will be of high quality in terms of design, with active street levels and a plaza linking Docklands to E-Gate.

“The unique design and architecture contributes to an area that is becoming a well recognised waterfront destination to live, work and visit,” he said.

Digital Harbour Tower

Digital Harbour Tower

Designed to respond to the growing tourism in the area, the development will support local employment and is expected to generate more than 480 jobs during construction and an estimated 125 ongoing jobs in the hotel and associated facilities, residential maintenance and support staff.

Neighbouring New Quay, Digital Harbour sits within a highly accessible area surrounded by Latrobe Street, Harbour Esplanade and Wurundjeri Way. The new precinct is already home to the commercial headquarters of major corporations including Melbourne Water, Bureau of Meteorology and VicTrack.

Docklands renewal will serve as an extension of Melbourne’s CBD, with work on the 190-hectare development – which includes 44 hectares of water – expected to begin in 2014 and be completed by 2025.

Upon completion, Docklands is set to attract in excess of $17.5 billion of private investment and be home to an estimated 20,000 residents, 60,000 workers while experiencing millions of visitors annually.