Like many locations situated in the Heart of Melbourne, Southbank was originally designated as an industrial zone from the 1860's to the 1920's. As was the fate of many industrial zones, Southbank fell into disuse after the lager industries closed; leaving the area in a state of decay for some time. Due to its central location within Melbourne itself, this area was the subject of an intense urban renewal project that had begun in the middle part of the 1980's and continued well into the 1990's. One of the results of this project was the destruction of nearly all of the old industrial buildings that had dominated the skyline during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Thus, most structures in this area are considerably newer than those to be found in the outlying suburbs.
Thanks to the success of the urban renewal projects, Southbank now enjoys the status of being one of the most modern business districts in Melbourne. It is the headquarters of numerous multinational corporations and business development is still ongoing While Southbank has a population of just over eleven thousand inhabitants, the primary interest for many real estate developers revolves around business construction and development.
Due to its status as being one of the most popular business and commercial districts in the city, there is no lack of high-rise buildings and massive corporate centres. Thus, real estate agencies consider Southbank to be one of the most valuable sections of the city and investment is expected to continue.
However, the financial crisis has taken a slight toll on both investment and infrastructure although many now believe that Southbank is once again proving to be attractive for both domestic and international corporations. Although population growth is not expected to dramatically increase from a residential point of view, investment in business and commercial ventures will most likely continue.