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Preston Market set for 100 metre towers

Plans are afoot that would see mixed-use towers of up to 28 levels included within the forthcoming Preston Market redevelopment. City of Darebin are currently displaying the Incorporated Plan online which the controlling consortium hopes will be approved, thus enabling/accelerating the market's redevelopment.

Salta Properties and project partner Medich Corporation have also requested a change to the Darebin Planning Scheme, with one variation requesting an increase in the maximum building height from 4-10 storeys to 28 storeys over the western part of the site. Should City of Darebin approve this, they will essentially endorse the delivery of multiple towers at potentially 100 metres in height.

Image © Preston Market Developments Pty Ltd

Amendment to the 2007 Incorporated Document is required to respond to contemporary development trends. The primacy of the existing market is improved through a consolidated site location, unencumbered from latter development stages. The public realm is based upon clear connectivity outcomes which will be marked through vibrant public places. The proposed amendment will introduce a diversity of housing morphology including taller high rise apartments.

Project lead NH Architecture have the intention of creating a highly permeable development with the pedestrian environment the focus of attention. "Internal connections are provided through the Market to reinforce the intricate pedestrian pattern, character and ambience of the traditional Market" according to the Incorporated Plan. A Station Square, Piazza and Forecourt are the key gathering points as planned, with a finer network of smaller scale arcades and lanes akin to those within Melbourne's CBD feeding into these focal points.

The built form will see office, residential, leisure and entertainment uses incorporated generally over upper levels while mixed uses at ground level are to all street frontages and not internalised. Street frontages are expected to be three storeys, while taller buildings will incorporate podiums.

Image © Preston Market Developments Pty Ltd

A report prepared by Essential Economics earlier this month and delivered as part of the Incorporated Plan holds the following highlights:

  • Total project value of approximately $800 million.
  • Construction costs estimated at approximately $550 million.
  • Approximately 1,220 full-time equivalent (FTE) construction jobs created.
  • 10 year project delivery timeframe envisaged.
  • Net increase in ongoing employment of 770 jobs relative to the existing on-site employment.
  • The redevelopment will hold approximately 1,500 new dwellings.

When the redevelopment begins, Preston Market will continue to function. The first of four stages will see a new market built on the site's eastern flank while Mary Street will be augmented to become a new north-south link. Subsequent stages will see the creation of a piazza, Station Square and Centreway.

The Incorporated Plan is available for viewing at City of Darebin's website.

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