MORE than a dozen Hong Kong developers are being wooed by the City of Melbourne to invest in an A$2 billion (HK$11.4 billion) overhaul of the city's local docklands. The 220-hectare site, which has mostly been lying dormant for 20 years, is set to undergo a major facelift transforming the area into a waterfront suburb housing about 5,000 people in luxury accommodation. The country's largest urban redevelopment project will see the land and water site carved up into seven separate sections and sold off to developers around the world. After three days in town, Jones Lang Wootton officials, marketing agents for the massive project, said they were 'pleasantly surprised' by the positive reception which they received from local developers. Chris Marks, managing director of Jones Lang Wootton in Australia said traditionally, Hong Kong developers had not put as much emphasis on Australia as they had on Canada and China. 'There was some uncertainty about the reception to the project,' Mr Marks said. But he said the project offered some of the best investment opportunities in the region. 'The market in Singapore is too expensive and Kuala Lumpur is too hot,' said Mr Marks. He described China as 'bumpy'. Jones Lang Wootton executives will also promote the development in Singapore. One of the strong features of the project is the fact that it is located on nearly vacant land within walking distance of the city centre, said Mr Marks. According to a plan formulated by Jones Lang Wootton, the docklands area will be subdivided into seven precincts allowing for the following kinds of development: a residential section along the Yarra River, a section for industry and technology, an information technology district, a Victoria Harbour leisure project, a mixed use project along the rail-yard, a so-called Heritage mixed-use section and the redevelopment of the Spencer Street Station. Jones Lang Wootton executives said the government would be seeking expressions of interest immediately for the commercial development of the industrial/technology, information technology and the heritage mixed-use precincts. The redevelopment is expected to take 10 to 12 years to complete. The Docklands will feature 2,450 housing units, 1.2 million sq ft of office space, 280 marina berths and leisure facilities including hotels as well as 213,000 sq ft of retail space.