What was Maribyrnong Wharf now shapes as an apartment haven

What was Maribyrnong Wharf now shapes as an apartment haven
What was Maribyrnong Wharf now shapes as an apartment haven

One of Footscray's premier development sites is up for grabs, with the expectation that over time it could yield in excess of 500 apartments in a low to mid-rise development outcome.

Located south of Hopkins Street in what was once earmarked as the Maribyrnong Wharf Precinct, 11-19 Whitehall Street provides near on 14,000sqm of land with the expectation that a residential developer will purchase the plot. Colliers International and Sutherland Farrelly are jointly marketing the site.

Over a decade ago, 11-19 Whitehall Street and surrounds were to be subsumed within the Maribyrnong Wharf Precinct, which would have seen a ARM Architecture-led rejuvenation of the riverfront area into a predominantly commercially focused precinct. During 2005 developers associated with the project withdrew, leaving the proposal dead in the water.

Ten years later and 11-19 Whitehall Street represents the largest development site offered in the immediate area to date. In the wider Footscray context, 11-19 Whitehall Street shapes as a key redevelopment in a suburb now front and square as a high-density residential development hot spot.

What was Maribyrnong Wharf now shapes as an apartment haven
Concept design for 11-19 Whitehall Street. Image courtesy Colliers

Barely four kilometres west of the Melbourne's CBD, 11-19 Whitehall Street which is also known as the 'Ryco site' has seen Maribyrnong City Council introduce a Development Plan Overlay over the site, supporting a high-density mixed-use outcome. In addition to 500 plus dwellings, Maribyrnong City Council also envisage commercial and retail uses for the site.

An indicative development concept for the site depicts two substantial residential buildings of up to eight levels, with what looks to be a public access way through the site. This is in line with Maribyrnong City Council's Development Plan which includes a link through to the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

The offering of 11-19 Whitehall Street coincides with the commencement of works on Riverside which is adjacent to the Whitehall Street land parcel. Builder Hamilton Marino has taken over the site with two tower cranes now erected in order to deliver the 200 plus apartments over the 10-12 level complex.

What was Maribyrnong Wharf now shapes as an apartment haven
Progress on Riverside, Riverina and 1 Warde Street in its latest form

While a handful of other sites remain capable of accommodating future residential developments in what was once touted as the Maribyrnong Wharf precinct south of Hopkins Street, Joseph Road Precinct directly north is also receiving its first taste of construction. Preliminary works continue on Riverina, with its first stage selling strongly, so much so that the second stage is poised to be released which includes a residential tower in excess of 30 levels.

The recent sale of 2 Hopkins Street and the offering of 1 Warde Street by Gurner, the addition of a new display suite within the Joseph Road Precinct and the construction commencement of two substantial projects all suggest that this stretch of Footscray fronting the Maribyrnong River is after a long hiatus finally moving toward mass development.

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak

Mark Baljak was a co-founder of Urban.com.au. He passed away on Thursday 8th of November 2018 after a battle with cancer. He was 37. Mark was a keen traveller, having visited all six permanently-inhabited continents and had a love of craft beer. One of his biggest passions was observing the change that has occurred in Melbourne over the past two decades. In that time he built an enormous library of photos, all taken by him, which tracked the progress of construction on building sites from across metropolitan Melbourne.

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