Minister for Planning Matthew Guy has welcomed the start of construction of a $350 million redevelopment as a major step in Footscray's renewal as a key activities area for western Melbourne.
"The McNab Avenue development by Grocon will help transform the under-utilised site into a vibrant, innovative and cutting edge mixed-use development in the heart of Footscray," Mr Guy said.
"The start of works brings to life the shared vision of the Footscray community, Maribyrnong City Council and the Victorian Coalition Government.
"Creating more than 300 jobs during the two-year construction period, Stage 1 of the development will involve the construction of offices for State Trustees and City West Water, as well as some departmental employees," Mr Guy said.
The overall development includes the construction of three multi-storey buildings containing approximately 500 apartments, office and retail space, gymnasium, child care centre, cafes and an arts centre.
Located on 1.3 hectares within the railway station precinct, the first stage 5 Star Green Star project will eventually be home for up to 1,200 new and relocated employees by 2014.
"Footscray, like all our Central Activities Areas, is essential to accommodating growth in jobs and demand for new homes in Melbourne's established urban areas," Mr Guy said.
"This development is just the start of Footscray's urban renewal with other projects being planned in the Joseph Road Precinct in central Footscray and other sites being developed by the private sector and Places Victoria."
Importantly, the cultural and heritage significance of the Footscray Station complex including Railway Reserve, a Moreton Bay Fig tree and Canary Island Date Palms will be enhanced by the refurbishment of the historic Railway Reserve and re-construction of McNab Avenue as a shared public street.
Footscray will capitalise on other government investment in the area, in particular the Regional Rail Link, which will connect regional V/Line services arriving in Footscray.