A history of Southbank Boulevard

The streets of Southbank have a long and complicated history, but the most confusing is Southbank Boulevard – a creation of the 1980s Melbourne. So how did the road come into being?

Z3.171 heads east on route 1 along Southbank Boulevard

An inspection of map 43 of Melway Edition 1 shows a completely different road layout existed through Southbank back in 1966.


Melway Edition 1: Map 42

But help is at hand – in 2015 the City of Melbourne commissioned an ecological, heritage and cultural place assessment covering Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street.

The current path of Southbank Boulevard commences at St Kilda Road and follows a route south-west to a point just before the Yarra bank at the site of the Falls and Queen’s Bridge.

It corresponds with the former route of Nolan Street, which was formed in 1888 in gazetted in 1895). It then crosses a path parallel with the former route of Ireland Street (formed by 1886) but at a point just north of Ireland Street, before following the route of what was formerly Maffra Street (gazetted in 1895).

Henry Cox’s map of Melbourne dated 1865 shows the absence of development in the area.


Extract from Henry Cox’s map of Melbourne dated 1865

But by 1879 the land had been drained, with industrial complexes and warehouses being constructed on the land.


Extract from 1879 map of harbour works to be undertaken by Melbourne Harbour Trust

Being fully developed by the time this 1931 aerial photo was taken.


1931 aerial photo, via Land Victoria Historic Aerial Photography Library)

The St Kilda Road end had been beautified by the 1960s.


1967 photo from the Laurie Richards Collection, Item MM 54017, via Museums Victoria

But the rest of the area was still industrial.


1960 aerial photo, via Land Victoria Historic Aerial Photography Library)

Including the banks of the Yarra River, where the Sandridge Bridge carried the Port Melbourne and St Kilda railway over Maffra Street.


Photo by Weston Langford

But the road layout remained the same until the 1980s.


Melway map 2F, 1986

Bur change came following the conversion of Swanston Street to a pedestrian mall.

No trams on Swanston Street south of Bourke Street

The decision being made to join Nolan and Maffra Streets in South Melbourne to create an alternative thoroughfare for city-bound traffic when Swanston Street was first closed to traffic.

The 1987 Melway shows the proposed road as dotted line.


Melway map 2F, 1987

And by the 1988 edition more detail was included, including Southbank Boulevard as a dual carriageway, and associated closures of side streets.


Melway map 2F, 1988

The swathe carved through South Melbourne by the completed road is visible in this 1989 aerial photo.


1989 aerial photo, Land Victoria Historic Aerial Photography Library

With the 2015 heritage statement listing the buildings cleared for the road.

The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW) plan of 1896, shows that the new section of road cut through the courses of Bridge Street (the remainder of which is now Fawkner Street), Kavanagh Street, Moore Street and Sturt Street, and that in the intervening blocks is overran the premises of several industrial premises, including most substantially the following:

  • ‘Stone works’ between City Road and Bridge Street;
  • ‘Cork works’ between Bridge Street and Kavanagh Street; and
  • ‘Engineering works’ (exact type not specified), including rails for trams and a travelling crane.

During its first few years of operation, up to 40,000 vehicles a day used Southbank Boulevard – compared to the 50,000 vehicles per day that currently use Kings Way.


Melway map 2F, 1991

As Melbourne continued to reorientate itself towards the Yarra River with the redevelopment of Southbank, the railway viaduct across South Melbourne was demolished in 1993, leaving just a stub of the Sandridge railway bridge behind, and opening up the intersection of Queensbridge Street and Southbank Boulevard.


Photo by Weston Langford

And the land on the western side of Queensbridge Street was turned over for the construction of Crown Casino.


Photo by Weston Langford

In 1996 questions were asked as to what purpose Southbank Boulevard served.

Mr Batchelor (Thomastown)

I raise for the attention of the Minister for Planning and Local Government the relationship between the CityLink Southgate interchange and the proposed Queens Bridge square, and the impact of these two developments on traffic flows.

In particular, the opposition wants a guarantee that drivers will have options other than ending up in the casino car park. The Southgate interchange has already been dubbed Spaghetti Junction, but despite that confusing,complex and ugly structural monstrosity, it is clear that its prime traffic function is to deliver thousands of cars a day to the back door of the casino.

The opposition seeks from the Minister for Planning and Local Government an assurance that all traffic options will continue to be available; that there will be adequate capacity for all cars travelling in the variety of directions that they need to; that additional capacities and directions will be available to cars so that they will have other options available to them other than ending up in the casino car park; and that they will be able to exercise those options.

It is not just a question of direction but also capacity, particularly when one is travelling along Power Street and turning left into City Road. The traffic lights at the intersection must allow for a sufficient volume of cars to make left-hand turns into City Road so that they are not forced to travel back to the CityLink.

With the government stated Southbank Boulevard was more than just a road into the Crown Casino car park:

Mr MacLennan (Minister for Planning and Local Government)

The honourable member for Thomastown raised a matter regarding the traffic management in areas in the City of Melbourne to the south of the Yarra River.

The casino site was chosen because of the elements of traffic to which the honourable member referred. Why would one have a casino on that site? Because it provides the opportunity of having a number of roads coming to the 2500 car parking spaces that the casino was required to build as part of the project. Naturally with 2500 spaces one would expect that there would be a lot of traffic movement towards them.

Indeed, casino legislation passed by Parliament with the support of the opposition requires the construction of a car park entrance in the Queens Bridge square area, which will lead in part to the casino car park. The casino legislation passed by Parliament requires certain other traffic measurements to be taken.

And flagged that the land beside the river could be turned into a public square.

Mr MacLennan

We are examining the creation of a Queens Bridge square -it will not be a square but more like a circle – to enable the Southbank Promenade to be extended further down the river.

It will not be possible to avoid pedestrian traffic at a level where trams and motor traffic cross Queens Bridge. It has been considered whether pedestrians could go under the bridge, but unfortunately it would mean they would have to be barricaded off from the water of the Yarra River. Therefore we are examining an alternative route going over the bridge, thereby avoiding clashes with trams and car traffic.

As part of the proposal for an appropriate treatment for the Queens Bridge circle, it may be that post-CityLink Southbank Boulevard does not continue through that area, so that the circle area will become a space dedicated to people rather than cars and traffic.

Crown Casino opened in May 1997.

Looking across to Crown Casino and the King Street Bridge

With an entry to the car park leading off Southbank Boulevard.

Southbank Boulevard entrance to the Crown Casino underground car park

Via a long underground tunnel.

Southbank Boulevard entrance to the Crown Casino underground car park

The end for Southbank Boulevard finally came in 2001, when the city connection was closed to make way for Queensbridge Square and the Freshwater Place development.

Architectural model of Melbourne's Freshwater Place development

Atop the car park entrance the ‘Red Stair’ amphitheatre by Marcus O’Reilly Architects was completed in 2005.

'Red Stair' amphitheatre at Queensbridge Square, atop the Southbank Boulevard entrance to the Crown Casino underground car park

Followed by the reopening of the Sandridge Bridge for pedestrians in 2006.

With traffic along Southbank Boulevard down to 13,000 vehicles a day following the closure, in 2015 the City of Melbourne unveiled an even more radical proposal – converting the unused road space to parkland.

Turning road into parkland at the corner of Sturt Street and Southbank Boulevard

Worked started on the Transforming Southbank Boulevard project in 2018, with work due to be completed by 2020.

Further reading

Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street: Ecological, Heritage and Cultural Place Assessment by Context Pty Lft for the City of Melbourne, October 2015.

And a technical footnote

The section of Southbank Boulevard between Queensbridge Street and Riverside Quay formally closed on 30 April 2002

While the section between Riverside Quay and City Road was rescinded as a main road a few days later on 9 May 2002.

A history of the Arts Centre underpass on St Kilda Road

As you head south on St Kilda Road there is a piece of hidden piece of infrastructure – the underpass that links City Road to Alexandra Avenue.

B2.2115 heads north on route 1 over Princes Bridge

A quick tour

The road passes beneath the Arts Centre, next to Hamer Hall.

Three track section of tramway on St Kilda Road at the Arts Centre

The gardens hide the road beneath.

Arts Centre gardens atop the Alexandra Avenue / City Road underpass

The only sign at ground level being the parapet on the eastern side of St Kilda Road.

St Kilda Road passes over City Road and Alexandra Avenue

But the traffic sewer dominates the parklands below.

Traffic on Alexandra Avenue enters the underpass beneath St Kilda Road

The underpass links Alexandra Avenue to the east.

Fuel tanker on Alexandra Avenue enters the underpass beneath St Kilda Road

With City Road to the west.

Fuel tankers on City Road in Southbank

Five traffic lanes and a dank footpath passing beneath St Kilda Road.

Traffic in the City Road underpass beneath St Kilda Road

As well as a slip road leading to Sturt Street and the Arts Centre loading dock.

Traffic in the City Road underpass beneath St Kilda Road takes the Sturt Street exit

And how it came to be

Once upon a time, the corner of St Kilda Road, City Road and Alexandra Avenue was at grade.


1967 photo from the Laurie Richards Collection, Item MM 54017, via Museums Victoria

With Melway edition 1 showing the road layout back in 1966.

But Melbourne was in the middle of a road building spree, including the City Ring Road and the Swan Street Bridge – completed in 1952.

When proposed in 1946 the classic ‘congestion busting‘ line was given as a reason for construction of the bridge.

The Swan Street Bridge will provide a direct traffic route from South and Port Melbourne to Richmond and Collingwood without having to enter the city proper, and would ease Flinders Street congestion.

But the Town and Country Planning Board indicated in their 1948 annual report that the further road upgrades would be needed to take advantage of the new river crossing.

The Swan Street Bridge was placed on the urgent list by the Metropolitan Town Planning Commission in 1929, was recommended by an expert conference in 1936, and again by the conference called in 1946 by the Hon. P. J. Kennelly, M.L.C., when Minister of Public Works.

The bridge now being built as a continuation of Swan Street across the river will help the traffic problem in many ways. However it will be desirable to construct an underpass at St Kilda Road, either at Alexandra Avenue or Linlithgow Avenue.

Some objections been raised to the use of Alexandra Avenue by commercial vehicles, but the Board points out that the section of the avenue west of Jeffries Parade is now almost unused. Only approximately 1,100 vehicles passed along the section in both directions during the twelve hours of the census in 1947, a reduction of about one-third over the 1926 census figures, although the overall traffic of Melbourne increased by 62 per cent in the twenty years between the two counts.

Some re-arrangement of the unsatisfactory street system on the south bank of the River Yarra in the South Melbourne Municipality to link with the St Kilda Road underpass will also become necessary.

In April 1952 moves were made towards building such an underpass.

£210,000 Plan for Underpass

A. £210,000 traffic underpass is to be built under St Kilda Road at Alexandra Avenue. Cabinet last night instructed the Minister for Public Works (Mr. Byrnes) to prepare necessary legislation for the July session of Parliament. Mr. Byrnes said later he would discuss the work next week with the Metropolitan Board chairman (Mr. J. C Jessop) and the Chief Town
Planner (Mr. K P. Borrie)

The passing of the Melbourne (St Kilda Road Underpass) Lands Bill in 1969 converted Crown Land in the area to a road reserve, enabling Leighton Contractors to start on the project in April 1970.


Leighton Contractors photo

By August 1970 St Kilda Road had been diverted around the work site.


Leighton Contractors photo

And by June 1971 the eastern approach cutting was almost complete.


Leighton Contractors photo

Leighton Contractors described the scope of project in their 1971 company newsletter.

St Kilda Road is the main access route for traffic and trams approaching the City from the South. An underpass is being built to ease congestion at this major intersection for the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works. A $2 million contract was awarded in December, 1969, and reconstruction of nearby streets was begun so that work on the main structure and approach roads could begin in April, 1970.

The underpass structure has to be built in three phases so that traffic flow in St Kilda Road is not interrupted. Numerous underground and overhead services severely restrict the sequence of work.

Main construction items are:-

  • 3 ft. and 8 ft. diameter cast in situ piles socketted into rock 100 ft. below surface.
  • Driving of 7,000 ft. of prestressed concrete sheet piles.
  • Erection of forty 110 ft. long precast concrete beams weighing up to 35 tons. Each of these is pretensioned in the factory and post tensioned on site.
  • Excavation of 80,000 cu.yds, of various materials.
  • Construction of 2,700 ft. of drainage lines including a 42″ diameter outfall into the Yarra River. A length of 180 ft. of this outfall was installed by jacking the pipes through an embankment.
  • Constructing 1,600 ft. of concrete retaining walls up to 20 ft. high. These walls are specially shaped to deflect runaway vehicles.
  • Providing various approach roads with both flexible and rigid pavements of various types.
  • Building sawn basalt stonework to match that used on the adjoining Arts Centre.

The structure is being built over the old bed of the Yarra and during excavation numerous clay smoking pipes and old bottles of many shapes were recovered. Unfortunately most of the bottles were broken and all were empty. A brick kiln existed on the site many years ago and hundreds of old bricks have been dug out.

Despite these diversions the project should be finished by the end of the year.

Resulting in the road layout seen today.

Traffic using the underpass continued to grow, fed by the new West Gate Freeway through South Melbourne from 1987.

Underneath the West Gate Freeway viaducts in South Melbourne

The road serving as the main link between the eastern and western suburbs of Melbourne.

Until 2000 when the Burnley and Domain Tunnels were opened as part of the CityLink project.

Headed along the West Gate Freeway towards the western portal of the Burnley Tunnel

But the underpass is still busy today, due to overheight vehicles and dangerous goods tankers, neither of which can use the tunnels.

Fuel tankers on City Road in Southbank

And don’t forget the trams!

Route 1 trams to South Melbourne once followed the entire length of Sturt Street, being diverted to Nolan Street (now called Southbank Boulevard) to make way for the underpass.

18 May 1969

A track junction was installed at Nolan Street in St Kilda Road, in preparation for diversion of the South Melbourne Beach route due to construction of the City Road underpass.

16 March 1970

A new track in Nolan Street, South Melbourne, was opened, from Sturt Street to St Kilda Road. It replaced the track in Sturt Street from Nolan Street to City Road, which was abandoned due to construction of the City Road underpass. A crossover was provided in Nolan Street at St Kilda Road.

By 1971 St Kilda Road trams were using temporary tracks around the work site, with the Edmund Fitzgibbon Memorial at the southern end of Princes Bridge also relocated for the underpass.

Ghost ramps?

The map 43 in the 1970 Melway directory feature ramps between St Kilda Road and the underpass – did they ever exist, or something descoped from the initial plans?

And the Victorian Arts Centre

The remaining Crown land between the underpass and the Yarra River was then permanently reserved as a site for the Victorian Arts Centre under the Melbourne (Snowden Gardens) Land Act 1975.

A Place Across the River: They Aspired to Create the Victorian Arts Centre by Vicki Fairfax details the saga behind that project.

Footnote: enabling legislation

Four pieces of Crown land were acquired for the underpass via the Melbourne (St Kilda Road Underpass) Lands Bill 1969.

North-west corner.

Whereas by Order in Council dated the 3rd day of February, 1914 certain Crown lands in the City of Melbourne were permanently reserved as a site for ornamental purposes and were vested in the corporation of the City of Melbourne by Order in Council of the 13th day of November, 1917 pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Prince’s Bridge Approach Act 1900.

South-east corner.

Whereas by an Order in Council dated the 8th day of May, 1905 certain Crown lands in the City of Melbourne were permanently reserved as a site for a memorial statue of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria and a public garden and Crown grant dated the 9th day of November, 1905.

Eastern side.

Whereas by an Order in Council dated the 5th day of August, 1913 certain Crown lands in the City of Melbourne were permanently reserved as a site for a public park for the recreation and amusement of His Majesty’s subjects and people designated the Alexandra Park and Crown grant dated the 18th day of December, 1917.

And south-west corner.

Whereas by an Order in Council dated the’ 7th day of May, 1957 certain Crown lands in the Cities of Melbourne and South Melbourne were permanently reserved as a site for a National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre and pursuant to the provisions of section 5 of the National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre Act 1956 Crown grant dated the 30th day of July, 1957.

Photos from ten years ago: February 2010

Another instalment in my photos from ten years ago series – this time it is February 2010.

Z1.78 stops for passengers outside Melbourne Town Hall

Changed scenes

Back then the tram stops along Swanston Street were at ground level.

Northbound Z3.177 picks up passengers on the corner of Swanston and Bourke

The platform stops at Collins, Bourke and La Trobe Street weren’t completed until July 2012.

And the Melbourne CBD skyline was much smaller, as seen in this view from the rail yards of West Melbourne.

T413 leads the light engine move after a reversal at West Tower

This entire area is about to be covered in freeway overpasses as part of the West Gate ‘Tunnel’ project.

The railway yards beside North Melbourne station have also changed, when I photographed the ‘Apex’ quarry train parked for the weekend.

X41 and A81 stabled at Melbourne Yard along with the Apex train rake

And a grain train headed to Kensington.

After heading along the Coburg goods lines to below West Tower, the consist sets back into the arrival roads

Both trains still run today, but under new operators – Qube Logistics and Southern Shorthaul Railroad respectively – while the sidings they use have been completely rebuilt as part of the Regional Rail Link project.

Another scene changed thanks to Regional Rail Link is the approach to Sunshine, where V/Line and suburban trains had to share the tracks.

P22, P20 and A81 heads towards Sunshine via the goods lines

Today a second track pair runs between Sunshine and the city, speeding the journey for V/Line trains on the Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo lines.

And new trains

The construction of new X’Trapolis trains had just restarted at the Alstom Ballarat workshops.

Arrival into Ballarat station

A decade on we’re still building them, with seven follow on orders signed so far, but no firm commitment has been made as to the future of the facility.

And the older Comeng trains were also in the middle of an air conditioning upgrade program.

Another view of the upgraded aircon - just a bigger fan strapped on top

Previously known for their propensity to drop dead whenever the temperature hit 36 degrees, the State Government spent $18.7 million retrofitting the units so that they would continue to run at temperatures up to 45 degrees.

The Bombardier plant at Dandenong was also busy, refurbishing Endeavour and Xplorer railcars for New South Wales.

El Zorro Y145 coupled to Endeavour railcar LE 2862 out the back of South Dynon

Due to the railways of New South Wales being standard gauge, each railcar needed to be transferred to broad gauge bogies at South Dynon, then dragged to Dandenong behind a diesel locomotive.

Headed out west

Another rail gauge muddle can be found at Maryborough, where the mothballed standard gauge track to Ararat met the broad gauge tracks from Ballarat.

Baulks on the Avoca line at the home signal into Maryborough

In 2018 the line from Ararat was reopened as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project that converted the Mildura line to standard gauge, but lefts things in worse shape than before: poorly built and slower than the previous route.

On my way back to Ballarat I visited the disused railway station at Creswick, as a grain train passed through.

Station building and goods shed still in place at Creswick

The newly relaid track was part of the restoration of V/Line services to Maryborough, with Creswick station reopening to passenger on July 2010.

But a station in even worse condition was that at Maldon, on the the Victorian Goldfields Railway.

Burnt out station building at Maldon propped up until rebuilding can start

The 120-year-old building was gutted by fire in October 2009, but has since been rebuilt.

And the unexpected

One afternoon at Kensington I spotted some ‘police’ wandering the tracks at Kensington.

Actors playing police interview 'witnesses'

But it was just a television show.

I think the plot involves someone falling / pushed from the bridge

Apparently for the Channel Seven series City Homicide, which screened between 2007 and 2011.

Footnote

Here you can find the rest of my ‘photos from ten years ago‘ series.

Flawed pedestrian crossings on William Street

During December 2019 Yarra Trams and the City of Melbourne completed a whirlwind of work to upgrade William Street through the Melbourne CBD. But it isn’t just buses that they forgot when building the new tram stops and bike lanes – they’ve screwed up the pedestrian crossings.

Pedestrian crossing partially closed at the corner of William and Little Lonsdale Street

Pedestrian crossings at major intersections have been widened.

Widened pedestrian crossing leading to the new Flagstaff station platform stop at William and La Trobe Street

But a few days later, half of the new crossing at the corner of William and Little Lonsdale Steet was fenced off.

Closed off pedestrian crossing at the new William and Little Lonsdale Street tram stop

As was half of the pedestrian crossing at the corner of William and Little Bourke Street.

Pedestrian crossing partially closed at the corner of William and Little Bourke Street

So what gives?

Meanwhile on the other side of Melbourne

Back in September 2018 a new platform stop was installed on route 96 at Nicholson and Gertrude Street.

E.6021 heads south on route 96 at Nicholson and Moor Street

But soon after, the pedestrian crossing was fenced off.

With Yarra Trams providing the response when the problem was raised in November 2019.

With rectification work completed between November 25 and December 13.

Last year Public Transport Victoria (PTV) and Yarra Trams installed new platform stops along Route 96 on Nicholson Street between Victoria Parade, Carlton and Rose Street, Fitzroy.

To finish our upgrades, we need to improve the accessibility of south east pedestrian ramp at Stop 11, by modifying the levels of the road as well as the footpath, kerb and ramp.

The design standards for pedestrian crossings are well documented – so how did Yarra Trams manage to make the same mistake again on William Street?

And another flaw

There is also another flaw in the widened pedestrian crossings – there is no kerb cut in the middle of the crossing.

Widened pedestrian crossing leading to the new Flagstaff station platform stop at William and La Trobe Street

This caught out someone at William and Little Bourke Street the other day – crossing the road in the middle of a pack of pedestrians, they missed the trip hazard, and faceplanted into the bluestone paving.

Treasury Square – the Gas and Fuel Buildings reborn?

In late 2019 the Victorian Government launched an expression of interest process for the ‘Treasury Square’ square site in Melbourne, located next to the railway tracks between Exhibition and Flinders Streets, and Wellington Parade South. But don’t get too excited about a brand new park over the railway tracks – the project is more like a reborn Gas and Fuel Building!

In October 2019 the Minister for Transport Infrastructure launched the Treasury Square project:

The Andrews Labor Government has today announced the start of an expression of interest process to develop vacant transport land in Melbourne’s CBD which has the potential to create jobs and attract new businesses.

The Treasury Square site is located on the southern side of Flinders Street next to the rail corridor, and spans the area between Exhibition and Flinders streets, and Wellington Parade South.

Developing the land presents an opportunity to increase office space or new hotels or apartments in the heart of the city, close to public transport.

Revenue generated from the sale will be invested into the Labor Government’s record $70 billion pipeline of major transport infrastructure across Victoria.

The expression of interest is being run by Colliers International and EY in conjunction with VicTrack and is open until Friday 8 November.

The outcome of the expression of interest will determine next steps, with any development to be subject to relevant planning controls and approvals. For more information visit treasurysquare.colliers.com.au

With the Australian Financial Review revealing in January 2020 that a number of developers had been shortlisted to produce detailed bids.

Victoria has narrowed the field to just four bidders in the race for Melbourne’s Treasury Square urban regeneration project, with developers sharpening pencils for bids that could see them pay more than $500 million for the key CBD-fringe site.

Teams led by Mirvac, Brookfield, Cbus Property and Dexus-John Holland now have until March 12 to produce detailed bids for the 13,600sq m site.

The site, on the southern side of Flinders Street, has the potential to create 130,000sq m of net lettable area for a commercial value of about $2 billion.

Enter site constraints

The Treasury Square site is quite constrained.

While strong interest in the land reflects the dearth of large commercial sites in the Melbourne CBD, the high price could limit profitability of the technically tricky project.

“They’re dreaming,” said a person close to one team that did not make the shortlist. “If they wanted that number … we’ll stand back and leave them to it.”

The site is above a rail tunnel of Melbourne’s underground loop and has an electricity substation on it.

A deck would need to be built above the site to support the three towers that would likely be built as part of any development, which would also be subject to controls to limit overshadowing Birrarung Marr public park on the banks of the Yarra River.

The deck alone could cost as much as $150 million, the person said.

With the Mernda and Hurstbridge line track pair running parallel to Flinders Street.

Hi-rail access pad on the Clifton Hill Group tracks at Richmond Junction

Tramway and railway traction power substation alongside.

Flinders Street substation: tramways is smaller building to the left, railway is the larger one to the right

Full of high voltage electrical gear.

Flinders Street substation: tramways is smaller building to the right, railway is the larger one to the top

The ‘One East Melbourne’ development curving along the footprint of the Burnley and Caulfield Loop tunnels that run beneath.

Apartment complex on Wellington Parade South curves around the footprint of the Burnley and Caulfield Loop tunnels

And then twelve more railway tracks.

X'Trapolis 257M arrives at Flinders Street with an up Burnley group service

Not to mention fourteen tracks between Exhibition Street and Federation Square.

X'Trapolis 209M leads a down service out of Flinders Street

So what will they build?

Treasury Square sounds like an exciting project – but the renders shown on the accompanying website suggest otherwise.

The development is just a tiny wedge of the land between Federation Square and Richmond station – the Mernda and Hurstbridge line track pair, and electrical substations.

With three towers proposed along Flinders Street.

Maybe a mix of hotel, office and residential.

Stacked in different ways.

Or just three office towers.

Forming a wall of glass along Flinders Street.

Swap the glass for brick, and you’ve got the Gas and Fuel Towers!

Previous developments at East Melbourne

The first land to be developed was at the corner of Wellington Parade South and Jolimont Road, on what was once the ‘Collingwood Sidings‘. They were cleared of tracks during 1987 and 1988 and then offered for sale.

The first stage being the lowrise ‘Eastside’ complex of neo-Georgian apartments developed by Becton during the 1990s.

Comeng and X'Trapolis trains pass outside Richmond Junction

Followed by the high rise ‘One East Melbourne’ development next door completed in 2010.

One East Melbourne, looking east down Wellington Parade from Spring Street

Consisting of a 19-storey residential tower with 85 apartments; a 6-storey commercial building includes three levels of car parking, 5,500 square meters of office space over three levels, and water wise rooftop garden; and 22 townhouses designed by Edgard Pirotta.

Further reading