Sunday, June 17, 2018

Revisiting Docklands

Melbourne's Docklands redevelopment has generally been seen as a failure. Even the optimistic proponents suggest it will take a decade or more to come together. I first heard that about a decade ago, and it hasn't happened yet. You can make cities and towns and do them well, rather than allowing them to naturally grow, but neither has happened here.

The main problem was the almost carte blanche given to property developers. I suppose there was an overall plan, but you wouldn't know it. It is transforming over the years though, from an open windswept place to to a series of wind tunnels around buildings. There are so many new towers since I was last there and took any notice.

It is sometimes referred to as Divorcelands, where men who broken up with their partner go to live the high life. At other times it is referred to by another name, .....lands, that rhymes with dock.

Of the few apartments we have looked at there, they seem to be very small and the buildings like rabbit warrens.

No, not good value at all. The developers are holding the prices high for new apartments and sales off the plan*, but as soon as the new owner settles the money for property, they find it is not at all worth what they paid for it.

I think people have moved into this one, but there are still some finishing touches happening.



Diagonally opposite the shopping precinct known as Waterfront City that doesn't have a waterfront, a new park has been built. Not a bad effort.




The observation wheel behind Waterfront City.


Ah, but whoever is not as generous as it or they may seem. The new park is actually the roof of an underground car park.


Did you hear about our earthquake, disastrous for this building.


The developer must have liked the idea of a variation on London's Walkie Talkie building. I hope care was taken to not let the building (good read) fry things at ground level




There is quite a bit of public art, but I think it is a little like putting lipstick on a pig.






I am not convinced we are in the bush.


I can't remember why we went to Waterfront City but we found a very good deal on a small suitcase to use for one or two nights away. It has already been to Sydney. These animals are, I forget the word, but they move, not animated, is it animatronics?



Three times tram tracks have been moved at Docklands, no doubt to suit developers. I kind of like the old disconnected tracks remaining.


As a tram approaches these lamps in the bollards light red to warn pedestrians to look out.


The studios of television Channel 7, Melbourne.






I have no patience with commercial names for sporting venues. It is Docklands Stadium to me. It's been Telstra Dome, something else and is now Etihad (Airlines) Stadium. It rather divides the city proper from Docklands.


These have been here for a long time.


Is that colour menopausal mauve? The tent like sculptures are new to me.


One of Melbourne's ultra sleek and modern trams.


Here comes my tram. The free City Circle route provided by these around 70 year old W trams, is like a Q instead of a circle, with the tail of the Q being Docklands. God, I'd forgotten how noisy they are inside, and out.


* Off the plan means buying before the building is built and saving money in theory as you only pay State Government stamp duty, that is a tax applied to the purchase of a home, on the land, not what will be built there later. There are exemptions for old people downsizing, help for some if it is their first home and I think now overseas buyers pay higher stamp duty.

26 comments:

  1. Menopause mauve? Nothing so gentle or subtle.
    Love the public art. Some pigs need lipstick.

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    1. Was she called Miss Piggy on tv? Perhaps she wore lipstick.

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  2. And Etihad Stadium will become known as "Marvel Stadium" as from September this year. I can see nothing wrong if a company/corporation is investing millions into a venue that the particular venue bear their their name.

    Have a good week, Andrew. :)

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    1. Marvel, Lee? What on earth is that? It is not so much the namings I have a problem with, it is them being changed and you will listening to the radio and an obscure name, such as Marvel, will be used and you don't have a clue where they are. A I dislike the loss of local names, especially football grounds. Kardinia Park changed. Princes Park changed. In Launceston I discovered York Park had become Aurora Stadium and has now become University of Tasmania Stadium. Well, that really rolls off the tongue and abbreviating it to UTS is rather ugly. You have a good week too.

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    2. Possibly something to do with all the Marvel Super-Hero comic figures that are having blockbuster movies made about them? Thor, Ironman etc

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    3. Yes....River is correct.

      The announcement was all over the news a few weeks ago.....

      "Marvel describes itself as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, responsible for some of the world's most famous comic characters including Spider-Man, Hulk and Captain America."

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  3. Development it is happening everywhere some good others not so much but I guess it's something we have to live with.
    Merle.......

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    1. Merle, we do, but it is shame it can't be done well.

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  4. I have not been there for years and it still looks like a "nothing" place to go.

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    1. Lady J, damning with faint praise, the public library is not too bad. http://highriser.blogspot.com/2015/09/sunday-selections-libraries-and-stuffs.html

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  5. I could image living a high rise. There no apt in my neck of woods that has 3 levels a few with 2 levels.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, some highrise building are quite good to live in and some are not. It depends on the number of owner occupiers, as against investors, and that it has strong management within the building and externally.

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  6. I do like your No 35 Tram.

    I find it very cynical of developers when they erect cheap drab buildings, paint a few bits in different colours, then plant a few bits of giant 'Art' around the place. No-one is fooled; it's still a cheap drab building.

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    1. Cro, the colours of the City Circle tram are being changed as they are given a thorough overhaul. I will take a photo soon.

      You are so correct. No-one is fooled.

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  7. I would never buy off the plan, I need to be able to walk around in the space to see if it is suitable for my needs, something that can't always be seen on paper, and I want to know if there are any wind tunnels nearby formed by too many highrises. I wouldn't want to live near and have to walk through those unless I had no choice.

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    1. River, I am with you on that, and the saving is not great, if any really. We live in a bit of a wind tunnel ourselves.

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  8. I wouldn't like to live in a highrise like that, far too many people. I think when there are new developments being built the developer has to spend a percentage on public art...that at least hopefully helps the artists.

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    1. Sami, I think that is the case about public art here and at times open public space is a requirement too.

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  9. Some modern architecture has a lot to answer for Andrew, I think they just get too carried away by their own imagination! I'm dreading seeing Elizabeth Quay when fini, of course I could be wrong 😉

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    1. Grace, well you were wrong once before :-P It will be interesting how the Quay ends up looking and feeling.

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  10. Anonymous1:17 am

    Totally agree. During our visit in January we took the Q tram to the end of its route (and back again) and found nothing "human" in the endless development. Roderick

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    1. Roderick, that is a good way to describe it, nothing human about it. It makes me want to drop litter or paint some graffiti.

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  11. That Stadium has had so many names and another new ones soon - hard to keep up with it all.
    I rather like the first building and it's interesting that certain new areas don't take off as expected, has me wondering why that happens!

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    1. Margaret, not sure if you mean Docklands or Launceston, but it is impossible to keep up. They don't take off because they don't feel comfortable to people. Many people do live at Docklands, but you won't see an old lady slowly dragging along a shopping trolley there.

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  12. I do think often about how much better off I would have been if I had bought a house somewhere rather than an apartment in the Docklands. However, it's been wonderfully convenient walking or catching the tram to the city centre.

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    1. Ad Rad, take it easy. You live on the edge of one of the great metropolis' of the world. Older than you, we have made property mistakes too, and we can be very wise with hindsight.

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