AFTER sitting dormant for over 45 years, transformation of Goods Shed 5 on Melbourne’s Yarra River has begun as part of a new $500 million waterfront redevelopment.
The heritage-listed shed has remained essentially unchanged since being built in 1941 to cater to a sudden influx of cargo. It was the first on the Yarra to have a road-transport loading bay and was also the first fireproof shed in the Port of Melbourne.
By 1975 the shed had fallen into disuse, when the newly completed Charles Grimes Bridge left insufficient clearance for cargo ships to pass underneath for passage upstream.
Now, roof trusses, doors and windows are now being taken offsite for remediation works and will be returned during the project’s construction phase.
It is part of the Riverlee’s $500 million Seafarers project. Upon completion in 2023, the mixed-use precinct will be home to Australia’s first 1 Hotel & Homes offering with 123 high end residences and 277 guest rooms, a lobby lounge bar, venue and meeting spaces, health centre, food and beverage offerings and a 3,500 sqm public park known as Seafarers Rest.
The site also has a proposed maritime heritage centre as part of the neighbouring Mission to Seafarers building, which recently received unanimous support to fund a feasibility study by the City of Melbourne.
The Mission to Seafarers Victoria has been at the site for well over a century and will continue to provide welfare services from the location.
The wharf, which dates back to the immediate post-war era, has also undergone refurbishment alongside restoration of Melbourne’s last-remaining original electric crane.
The City of Melbourne, landscape architects Oculus and Riverlee are in conversation with the traditional custodian groups as part of development design. This could see the incorporation of native planting and indigenous maritime references embedded within the site.