Riverlee Announces Hotel Brand at $450m Northbank Project


Australia’s first 1 Hotel will open in Melbourne and be part of developer Riverlee's $450 million hotel and apartment project beside the Yarra River.

The development of the Northbank wharf site, controlled by private developer Riverlee, forms a new link between the Docklands regeneration on one side of Wurundjeri Way and on the other, the last wedge of commercial space along the Yarra River.

The project, “Seafarers”, won approval mid-2018 with early plans including a 3,500sq m public park and rejuvenation work on the historic wharf and heritage-listed crane.

It has been designed by Fender Katsalidis with heritage consultants Lovell Chen.

Riverlee has now selected 1 Hotel, an affiliate of hotel and private investment firm Starwood Capital Group, a brand fast becoming known for its high-end amenities as well as environmental and community focus.

Melbourne's 1 Hotel will feature 280 guest rooms, a state-of-the-art wellness centre, a ground floor 1000-seat function hall, a variety of restaurants and a lobby bar.

Related: Riverlee Invests in Co-Working Operator

Other 1 Hotel locations include South Beach in Miami (top), Central Park (bottom left) and Brooklyn  in New York City (bottom right).
Other 1 Hotel locations include South Beach in Miami (top), Central Park (bottom left) and Brooklyn in New York City (bottom right).Image: 1 Hotel

Riverlee Group acquired the 13,200sq m Northbank site, located between Spencer Street and Charles Grimes Bridge, four years ago from the state government for $28.5 million.

Riverlee development director David Lee said 1 Hotels was a clear choice for the Seafarers precinct, with both companies sharing similar values in regards to sustainability, urban renewal and design.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing Australia’s first 1 Hotel to the banks of the Yarra River and will work closely with SH Hotels & Resorts to merge their hotel ethos and design throughout the project and public spaces, in order to create an authentic and cohesive precinct,” Lee said.

“It’s the hotel’s commitment to celebrating the history of the site, once the site of Melbourne’s busiest port, that will contribute to delivering a truly bespoke hotel experience.”

First constructed in 1895, approximately 220 metres of the wharf will be restored and structurally reinforced, which Riverlee insist will extend its lifespan for at least 50 years.

Wharf and crane restoration began mid-2018 with the construction due to start mid-2019.

The site’s historic Goods Shed known as "Shed 5" will also be restored and repurposed into a premium waterfront event space.

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