Best in the west
WILLIAMSTOWN is like a jewel of the inner west, with its Hobsons Bay waterfront shining across Nelson Place to the suburb’s historic heart.
The suburb was at the forefront of the gentrification along the west of the Yarra River, with Williamstown holding the area’s biggest white collar populations and an average weekly income of $1792.
Yet the suburb’s biggest industry, the Williamstown Dockyards, remains effectively in limbo, with operator BAE Systems cutting 200 jobs before Christmas as its naval shipbuilding work winds down. The shipyard is under a cloud over whether any future naval contracts would sustain the workforce.
The heart of Williamstown is Nelson Place, where cafe umbrellas and alfresco dining now line the historic streetscape, however Ferguson St is home to the suburb’s retail strip.
Beyond the tourist and retail strips, a great number of Victorian, Federation and Edwardian homes were renovated as Williamstown led the gentrification of the area.
Other properties have made way for striking contemporary homes that face the water, especially along the mouth of the Yarra River on The Strand.
Ferguson St and Douglas Pde service the day-to-day needs of Williamstown residents with a large collection of specialty stores, including butchers, bakers, clothing retailers and the like, along with banks and supermarkets.