With the relocation of industrial activities to the East Arm Wharf in 2003, the 25 hectare former industrial port land on the Darwin CBD peninsula became available, providing a unique opportunity for significant urban renewal and enhancement of the city as a place to visit, work and play.
In 2003, the Northern Territory Government investigated the demand for, and economic benefits of, a convention centre and potential models for financing a centre. In a growing convention and exhibition sector, demand was found to exist that would deliver a strong economic boost to tourism and business.
The Darwin Convention Centre provided the opportunity to develop a complementary master plan including hotels, generous public open spaces, large recreation lagoon and wave pool, mixed use retail and commercial space, a university School of Business, public art, a sky bridge connection to the CBD, cruise ship terminal, and up to 1,500 waterfront residential apartments.
The convention centre is being delivered under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) structure, as a 25 year build-own-operate-transfer arrangement.
Today the Darwin Waterfront is the premier destination for business and recreational tourists and locals, home to a growing residential population and vibrant retail and dining offerings.
The convention centre has hosted over 80,000 national and international delegates, and generated an estimated $341 million in economic benefit. In 2015-16, over one million visitors were attracted to the Darwin Waterfront.
Completion of the Charles Darwin University School of Business in 2014 brings additional energy to the Waterfront precinct.
Creating the remarkable
The Darwin Waterfront development has been a remarkable success as a partnership between government and private developers. With the completion of Stage 2a of the project, including the Charles Darwin University campus, a new development agreement has been struck between the Landbridge Group and government to develop a 5 star Westin Resort on a 2.9ha parcel of Waterfront land. This $250 million development will redefine luxury and corporate accommodation in the Darwin market and will reinforce the Darwin Waterfront’s position as the Top End’s premiere place to live, visit, dine and stay.