The City of Melbourne will transform the banks of the Birrarung Yarra River, adding additional sites to the $300-million Greenline river walk project.
The council voted to progress the feasibility study for the Melbourne Maritime Heritage Precinct and Mission to Seafarers trail.
The area, halfway along the Greenline, would complement the 4km green link from Birrarung Marr at St Kilda Road to the Bolte Bridge at Docklands.
The study found that maritime heritage should be celebrated in a “vibrant living way and that a stagnant museum should be avoided”.
The upper levels of the Mission to Seafarers building, built in 1917, could be used for welfare while the ground floor revamped for around $15 million to $20 million and used as a community function space and to showcase the dome in the building.
Meanwhile, additional maritime assets would be connected in a trail and would also recognise Aboriginal maritime heritage.
Plans were approved for the next door Seafarers Rest park, designed by Oculus as part of Riverlee’s $500-million Docklands redevelopment of the Northbank Goods Shed into a hotel and mixed-use precinct.
Lord mayor Sally Capp said the precinct as a trail concept would be integrated into the Draft Greenline Implementation Plan.
“We want locals and tourists to add Melbourne’s waterfront to their exciting itinerary and learn about our proud maritime heritage, and inject some much needed money into nearby businesses,” Capp said.
“Mission to Seafarers would become the heart of a maritime precinct trail to attract more visitors to Docklands, and reimagine Melbourne’s waterways history.”
Heritage portfolio lead Rohan Leppert said the trail could be a valuable link to Docklands.
“The trail could increase public open space while providing access to our maritime district,” Leppert said.
“Mission to Seafarers is an important part of Melbourne’s maritime history, and the future functions of this special building need to be carefully considered by the council and the Victorian government if we are to celebrate its rich maritime and seafaring history for generations to come.”
The study also looked at Victoria Harbour, Central Pier, which was under assessment by Development Victoria; and Williamstown, which was essentially an established maritime precinct.
The Greenline on the north bank of the river was announced in April with plans to create pedestrian bridges and boardwalks to give pedestrians new walkways and access to the water.