Etihad Stadium should be bulldozed and a new sports arena built at a nearby urban renewal site, says a top Melbourne developer.
Michael Buxton, whose firm MAB Corporation developed much of Docklands, said Etihad’s location was a waste of money.
“The cost of doing it may be prohibitive but it’s a matter of the particular land at Etihad Stadium being more valuable than as a football stadium,” he said.
“Congestion is always a problem, so maybe moving it somewhere else makes it a bit easier.”
Mr Buxton said Etihad, which will be renamed Marvel Stadium from September 1, should be located at the E-Gate urban renewal precinct on the corner of Footscray Rd and Dudley St in North Melbourne.
“E-Gate’s a fantastic opportunity, so sell Etihad and move the lot,” he said.
While civic leaders like former lord mayor Robert Doyle have previously called for Etihad’s demolition, the state government has approved a $225 million makeover of the stadium precinct by the AFL.
Mr Buxton’s firm has several apartment projects at NewQuay in Docklands, and he is annoyed with the constant rubbishing of the waterfront suburb as a soulless place.
“There are a lot people living down there, it’s a beautiful harbourside city now, and when you look back on the 1980s and 1990s what it was then and what it is today, it’s stunning,” he said.
Mr Buxton is a strong supporter of the so-called 24-hour city, which means that new developments in fringe areas should have the facilities and infrastructure to allow residents to “live, work and play” in the local area.
“We could have satellite cities on the fringes of Melbourne, 35km from the CBD, provided they’re planned properly,” he said.
Mr Buxton recently donated his Australian art collection and funded a building to launch the $26 million Buxton Contemporary at Melbourne University’s Southbank campus.
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