Detailed plans to revamp Australia’s last major undeveloped port waterfront have been revealed.

The South Australian government has announced more than $280 million of new private developments to help transform the historic maritime precinct of Port Adelaide into a thriving residential, commercial and tourist hub.

Two Australian developers and a South Australian construction company have been selected as preferred proponents for the development of nearly 23 hectares of waterfront land across an the inner harbor.

The proposals include nearly 1300 homes across four precincts including:

  • 760 homes at Dock 1 and Port Approach (South) in the east of the inner harbour, to be 
developed by Starfish Developments; 

  • 500 homes in the North West and Fletcher’s Slip precincts in the west and north of the 
inner harbour to be developed by Cedar Woods;
  • South Australian construction firm York Civil, plans to refurbish the former Primary Industries and Resources SA building at Cruickshank’s Corner and relocate its national headquarters to this site in the Port. The first stage of the York Civil project is expected to start this year;
  • A promenade around the inner harbour is proposed maintaining public access to the waterfront, and the old Marine and Harbors building is to be redeveloped into apartments and retail premises, as well as an observation deck and an outdoor cinema. 


The residential developments are expected to support about 250 direct and indirect jobs a year during seven years of construction and will generate about $280 million in private investment. 

Public discussions about the redevelopment of the Port Adelaide waterfront have been ongoing since the mid-1970s but have been stymied by community concerns about the environment, proximity to heavy industry, maintaining the port’s heritage and the lack of jobs growth in the area.

Renewal SA, the state government department responsible for selling off surplus public land, released an “Urban Renewal Prospectus” last year detailing plans of its biggest series of sell-offs since it was formed in 2012.


The prospectus included 40ha across six precincts in Port Adelaide – about 14km northwest of the Adelaide CBD – and was touted as “a waterfront precinct with unrivalled redevelopment potential … Australia’s last major undeveloped port waterfront”.

Similar projects in Fremantle, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart have previously played major roles in boosting local economies and injecting life back into rundown and outdated port precincts.

The inner harbor is just a few kilometres upstream on the Port River from Techport Australia, a major naval shipyard, which has been earmarked to build 12 submarines for the Australian Navy.

South Australian Housing and Urban Development Minister Stephen Mullighan said the redevelopment couldn’t come at a better time for Port Adelaide.

“We know that there are going to be thousands of workers coming to Techport and surrounding areas to build the $50 billion Future Submarines over the next 50 years, this is going to provide an opportunity for them to live in the local community,” he said.

“I’m confident that we have struck the right balance between getting more people to live in the Port but also ensuring we learn from previous projects and the community response to them.

“Port Adelaide is a unique development opportunity combining vast parcels of waterfront land with 180 years of distinctive maritime history and heritage buildings.

“Now through these redevelopments we can encourage more people to come to live in this unique waterfront district and further build the economic and social vibrancy of the Port.”

Images: The Lead South Australia