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The Queen Victoria Market renewal project: a refresher

Last week's joint announcement by Planning Minister Richard Wynne, Premier Daniel Andrews and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle that the Amendment C245 planning controls have been adopted, paves the way for work to commence on the $250 million dollar redevelopment of the Queen Victoria Market.

Concept for Munro site (subject to change). Image: City of Melbourne

In the first instance, the project will deliver new cold storage facilities, power, and modern toilets, as well as improved car parking and pedestrian access. The majority of market infrastructure will be relocated below ground, removing pedestrian and vehicle conflict at street level and improving the pedestrian environment.

The redevelopment will also provide a new 1.5-hectare public open space on the site of the current car park to be known as Market Square.

As part of the new planning controls, the Victorian Government has also applied a new mandatory height control of 125 metres on the Munro site, which is a reduction from the original 196 metre height sought by City of Melbourne.

With such a multi-faceted project of various components and staging it can be easy to get lost or confused about exactly what is happening so we've decided to provide a run down of each aspect of the project based on publicly available information.

Amendment C245 (approved 11 July 2017)

Amendment C245 planning controls. Image: City of Melbourne

Amendment C245 seeks to balance the heritage of the market precinct with the right type of new development in the precinct. On Tuesday 11 July 2017, the Victorian Government announced the approval of these new planning controls allowing for a major transformation of the Queen Victoria Market.

Amendment C245 will:

  • Apply a public use zone to the Queen Victoria Market to reflect its ongoing importance as a community place. As a registered heritage place, development of the site will continue to be subject to permits from Heritage Victoria.
  • Protect the existing heritage sheds and the new open space from overshadowing.
  • Ensure adequate sunlight.
  • Provide environmental wind control – promoting comfortable pedestrian conditions at street level.

This will be achieved by:

  • Rezoning the majority of the Queen Victoria Market land and Queen Street extension that is currently zoned Capital City Zone (CCZ1) to be Public Use Zone (PUZ7).
  • Rezoning the Queen Victoria Market car park, currently zoned Capital City Zone (CCZ1), to Public Park and Recreation Zone (PPRZ).
  • Applying a new Schedule to the Development Plan Overlay (DPO11), which incorporates a vision and design requirements for development of land, including Council owned land, adjacent to the Queen Victoria Market.
  • Deleting existing Schedule 14 to the Design and Development Overlay (DDO14) from the Queen Victoria Market and land to which DPO11 applies.
  • Introducing revised built form controls for new development over the remainder of the area covered by the existing DDO14.
  • Amending the Built Environment and Heritage within the Hoddle Grid Policy (Clause 21.12) to delete an existing policy statement relating to the existing DDO14.
  • Amending the existing clause 22.02 Sunlight to Public Spaces to include a provision that development should not overshadow Flagstaff Gardens between 11am and 2pm on 21 June.
  • A mandatory height of 125 metres for 151 Therry Street (the Munro Site).

The Master Plan

A diagram of the various components of the QVMRP. Image: City of Melbourne

The Master Plan breaks the Queen Victoria Market Precinct into four 'quarters' linked by a pedestrian spine known as the Market Cross. Each quarter is identified as follows;

  • Q1: Fresh meat, fish and dairy will be showcased in the market’s produce halls.
  • Q2: A below-ground operational area will be built for traders while the historic open air sheds, A-D, will be restored.
  • Q3: A new 1.5 ha public space known as Market Square will be created on the existing above ground car park.
  • Q4: New mixed-use development, on the former Munro site, will accommodate new customer car parking for the market and community facilities.
  • Market Cross: With the market's infrastructure relocated below-ground, the market’s main public areas will be pedestrianised.

The market will continue to trade throughout the renewal, with all current traders guaranteed a spot within the market. Further detail on each aspect of the market's renewal program are outlined below.

Market Garden | Breathe Architecture

Breathe Architecture's Market Garden Pavilion is due to be up and running in October. Image: City of Melbourne

The new two-storey, greenhouse inspired design, will include an open air trading hall on the ground level with a market garden on the upper level.

Designed by Breathe Architecture, the pavilion will extend from Victoria Street to Franklin Street and is expected to be around 250 metres-long and 19 metre in width.

In addition to giving market traders access to better facilities such as refrigeration, water, power and storage, the pavilion will include facilities to recycle organic and non-organic waste to produce compost to be used for the market garden and rain water collection and reuse.

On 40-degree days, the inside of the pavilion will only reach about 28 degrees due to the evaporative-cooling effects of the greenhouse. Adding to the sustainable qualities of the pavilion, it has been prefabricated and can be reused and relocated after the renewal program’s completion.

The greenhouse itself is an off the shelf structure and consists of glass and metal. A strong focus on visual merchandising, in partnership with traders, will ensure the fresh produce on display, plus the addition of the greenhouse will add the colour to the market site.

Q1: Fresh Produce Hall

The halls and the lower market will be supported by a new below-ground operational area, with delivery, storage, food preparation and waste management facilities created under sheds H and I.

Sheds H and I will offer fresh fruit, vegetable and organics traders will still be there but some new food offers and places to sit and enjoy the local produce will also be added.

The exterior of the Meat and Fish Hall will be revitalised, with the façade restored, while the inside of the Dairy Produce Hall will also be refurbished. It is anticipated that these works will be undertaken outside of trading hours where practical.

The heritage-listed Elizabeth and Victoria Street terraces will receive a facelift, while the Food Court will be enhanced to better connect customers with the Meat and Fish Hall.

This area will create a link to the provedore offering within the Dairy Produce Hall and offer visitors a traditional market experience in addition to some new experiences.

Deli Lane, currently doubling as a delivery zone and eating area, will become a community meeting place and eating area. With new seating and greenery, it is expected that Deli Lane will become another meeting place.

Q2: Heritage Sheds A-D

Traders in sheds A, B, C and D will be relocated by September 2017 to enable the restoration of the market’s heritage sheds and construction of below-ground facilities. Fruit and vegetable traders in sheds A and B will move into the new market pavilion, with general merchandise traders in sheds C and D to be relocated within the existing upper market sheds.

The sheds will be carefully dismantled and restored before they are reinstated transforming this historic area of the market into a revitalised fresh food market.

Beneath the fully restored sheds A-D will sit a major new below ground operational area, separating the market’s busy service zones from customers. Traders will receive enhanced amenities in the form of new back-of-house facilities, such as showers, toilets, break-out space, loading areas and storage.

Specialty goods traders will have easy access to the new operational area and will no longer need to set up and pack down each day, greatly improving the efficiency of their business and security of stock stored on site.

The City of Melbourne is committed to ensuring that the development of the below-ground market operational area and any related construction will not take place within three metres of the Aboriginal section of the former Old Melbourne Cemetery.

Sheds E and F will be restored with enhanced weather protection, lighting and other amenity improvements that will also incorporate design elements for the acknowledgement and interpretation of the Aboriginal section of the Old Melbourne Cemetery.

Enhancement works to Victoria Lane, between the Victoria Street terraces and Shed A, will provide open air seating and greenery with a view towards improving the visitor experience.

Q3: Market Square

The relocation of key market infrastructure and parking below ground will enable the creation of 1.5 hectares of new open space on the existing car park, to be known as Market Square.

With a design developed from engagement with the broader community, Market Square is envisaged as an important new meeting place in the city’s north, playing host to festivals, street markets and community events.

Incorporating interpretive elements such as artworks and landscape features, the new public space will acknowledge the site’s significant history.

The new Queen’s Corner building will provide a central information point for visitors and tourists to engage with our market, and showcase Victoria’s regional produce and cultural heritage within a proposed visitor centre. The building will be located at the edge of Market Square, providing a contemporary addition to this historic part of the city and a connection between Queen Street and the new public open space.

Sheds J, K, L and M will be upgraded with new infrastructure and facilities, supporting day trading while creating a new destination for a range of events, including the popular night markets.

According to Lord Mayor Robert Doyle “This area will serve as a thriving hub for festivals, events or simply relaxing and enjoying produce from the stalls.”

Q4: 151 Therry Street (Munro Site) | PDG Corporation and Bates Smart and Six Degrees

Artist's Impression of the Munro Site at street level. Image: City of Melbourne

The Initial proposal for the Munro development included:

  • A 120 place childcare facility.
  • Maternal, child health and family services centre.
  • A community centre and kitchen, artist spaces and city room gallery.
  • A hotel and residential apartments.
  • Retail in keeping with the market precinct.
  • Market customer car parking.
  • New open space and laneways.

The design concept developed by Bates Smart and Six Degrees seeks to incorporate elements that honour Queen Victoria Market’s rich and diverse history, including brickwork to reflect the existing Mercat Hotel facade, which will be retained. Following the endorsement of the planning controls the design will now be refined and finalised.

A 125 metre (maximum) residential tower at the eastern end of the Munro will be constructed, with a low rise community hub on Queen Street to be delivered by developer PDG Corporation on behalf of the City of Melbourne.

In addition to being the largest community hub in Melbourne, the development aims “to set a new standard as the best socially, environmentally and financially sustainable development in Australia.”

56 affordable housing units that were originally planned as part of the development will be relocated to another development site.

PDG is delighted to have been selected to partner with the City of Melbourne as the developer for the Munro site, being the first project to be delivered as part of the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal Program.

Our project team is committed to working closely with the City of Melbourne to create an exemplary mixed use residential, retail and community destination.

Being one of the largest and most significant projects for the City of Melbourne, PDG share in the City’s vision to create a world class, 5-star green star development which is sensitive of the nearby market’s heritage, will support a diverse local community and delivers a new benchmark level of accommodation.

PDG Corporation

Market Cross

The intersection of Queen and Therry Streets will be transformed into the ‘Market Cross’, an iconic public space that will draw the quarters of the market precinct together, creating a pedestrian-friendly meeting place that can host markets, festivals and busking, as well as greener spaces for sitting, eating and relaxation.

New Franklin Street

A realigned and improved Franklin Street will better connect the east and west parts of the city during peak times. The realigned Franklin Street will help ease traffic off Victoria Street and as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project a single lane in either direction will be retained adjacent to the City Baths to allow for this connection. New Franklin Street will also provide an extension to the new Market Square during events and festivals. Delivery of new Franklin Street is required under the Victorian Government Agreement by 2019.

Future: Franklin Street Stores and Development Site

The historic Franklin Street stores will be revitalised and feature a new retail and hospitality offer, spilling out onto Market Square and ensuring the market precinct retains a connection to these heritage buildings. Under the City of Melbourne's agreement with the Victorian Government, they are required to reconfigure land parcels, including the retained Franklin Street stores and portions of the Franklin Street road reserve to create mixed-use development sites by 2026.

Lead image: PDG Corporation.

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