Racing to simulator-led Docklands recovery

Dockland's Waterfront City has become home to the first professional formula one grand prix simulator available for public use in Australia, bringing a much needed new attraction to the troubled retail and hospitality precinct.

Dockland's Waterfront City has become home to the first professional formula one grand prix simulator available for public use in Australia, bringing a much needed new attraction to the troubled retail and hospitality precinct.

The new tenancy comes as ING Real Estate is still not able to set a firm date for reopening the Southern Star Observation Wheel, which was once intended as the major drawcard for Docklands.

Meanwhile, entertainment group Motionators has opened its simulation facility in a prominent waterfront spot on Docklands Drive.

It offers three simulators built as formula one replica cockpits with 180-degree, wrap-around, full-motion video screens and "force feedback" steering wheels. Customers pay $185 for a 75-minute experience "racing" on some of the world's most famous tracks.

"There's nothing like what we are doing anywhere else in Australia. You'd have to go to Dubai to get a similar experience," said Amir Masinovic, co-founder of Motionators. "If the market embraces our concept, we believe we will become an iconic attraction and become part of the solution [for Docklands]."

Motionators has signed a three-year lease for the 290-square-metre space. Rents are believed be about $206 per square metre. It had previously been occupied by ING Real Estate's sales office.

The deal is a rare coup for the Waterfront City precinct.

"People in the area are getting excited about the future of the precinct and can see it getting as busy as Victoria Harbour," said Daniel Wolman of Colliers International, who negotiated the Motionators' lease.

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