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Melbourne’s CBD has seen significant changes in terms of city life

Melbourne may have been stuck in a rut for the previous two years, but now that pandemic restrictions are relaxing, the city is accelerating once again.

Major residential constructions are being complimented by enhancements to the cultural area and a slew of green-space initiatives, all of which will help Melbourne maintain its well-deserved reputation for liveability.

In each precinct, these are the must-see sights and forthcoming projects.

Carlton

Carlton has traditionally been a student accommodation hotspot due to its closeness to the University of Melbourne and RMIT. However, the epidemic has wreaked havoc on vacancy rates, forcing developers to reconsider their market strategies.

The streets of Carlton have been transformed into luxury complexes for rich professionals and downsizers. The 79 homes at Argyle House, which overlooks Argyle Square, and the 20 houses at La Storia on Cardigan Street are two examples.

Docklands

The much-anticipated Melbourne Skyfarm — a 2000-square-metre rooftop car park renovated into an urban farm with views of the Yarra – will open to the public later this year.

Visitors may take a tour of the functioning farm, explore the orchard, sample honey from the rooftop hives, and eat at the sustainable café.

The Seafarer’s precinct, located between Spencer Street and the Charles Grimes Bridge, is reviving a lost piece of municipal real estate with a $500 million residential and hotel complex.

The pedestrian flow from the Southern Cross footbridge is being improved at Marvel Stadium, which is reopening after COVID.

The Greenline project, a four-kilometer revitalisation proposal for the north bank of the Yarra that is currently pending final clearance from the state government, will have a significant presence in Docklands.

The six-meter-wide promenade will stretch from Birrarung Marr to the Bolte Bridge, linking walking and cycling trails that are currently unconnected.

According to Michele Acuto, director of the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Centre for Cities, if it goes forward, it will be a green effort the city can be proud of.

“It goes all the way from the Docklands to East Melbourne and it brings the city toward the river; things will be reactivated and more effective there,” Professor Acuto explains.

“We are a city on a river and it is a waterway, not just a river. So recognising and celebrating that, and making it a flagship of Melbourne in the next 20 to 30 years is a real step change in our profile as a livable, global nature-oriented city.”

Southbank

Southbank’s development sector is growing, and it’s never one to miss out. Next year, work on Australia’s tallest tower is slated to begin. The highest of the two towers, STH BNK By Beulah, stands at 356 meters and has 101 storeys.

NGV Contemporary, a new gallery as part of the $1.7 billion Melbourne Arts Precinct makeover, will also be located on the Southbank. The famous St Kilda Road district will benefit from this, as well as the Metro Tunnel and the ANZAC station.

According to Tim Bracher, executive officer of the Yarra River Business Association, these improvements are aimed at capitalising on Melbourne’s waterfront position.

“The major redevelopment of the Southgate complex, the amazing looking and green building of STH BNK By Beulah on City Road, together with the extension of Southbank Boulevard right to the water’s edge, will alter the way Southbank looks in the next five years,” he adds.

“And over the next decade, the $1.7 billion transformation of the Arts Centre, and especially the NGV Contemporary, will further consolidate Southbank’s international reputation. It will be a very exciting decade ahead.”

West Melbourne

West Melbourne has many of the industrial characteristics that date back to its early history, such as active shipping ports and railway yards. Residential and commercial construction, on the other hand, are on the rise.

This comprises a 25-story tower at 45 Dudley Street with 171 apartments, as well as an 11-story structure at 268 Adderley Street with 185 units, all of which are expected to be completed later this year.

In West Melbourne, there are a wave of new buildings, including mixed-use projects including office and retail space.

According to Nicholas Reece, deputy lord mayor of Melbourne, “it’s a new chapter of gentrification for the inner neighborhood.”

“There are some really exciting new developments occurring in West Melbourne, which is leaping ahead as a popular mixed-use suburb replicating the growth and change we’ve seen in Fitzroy and Collingwood in recent years,” he says.

East Melbourne

East Melbourne is popular among wealthier inner-city residents due to its broad streets dotted with Victorian terraces and lush parks. Fitzroy Gardens, like the famous MCG, is a must-see attraction.

The Epworth Freemasons hospital site renovation is now in its second stage on Albert Street. A $13.1 million mixed-use twin tower building is set to go forward on the junction of Hoddle Street and Wellington Parade in East Melbourne.

Melbourne's CBD has seen significant changes in terms of city life

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