Likened in some quarters as a miniature Federation Square, construction works began last week on a Prahran project that will rank as one of 2018's most progressive and important.
Kane Constructions has the job of transforming 30-40 Izett Street under a $60+ million urban renewal initiative prompted by Stonnington City Council. On the outer is the surface car park; it will be replaced by 10,000 square metres of multifunctional urban parkland.
Similar to what is intended for the Queen Victoria Market car park, all vehicles will be directed underground in order to create a more environmentally and pedestrian friendly outcome. 500 plus vehicles will be accommodated over the project's underground levels.
Council states that "When completed in 2019, Cato Square as it has been dubbed will create urgently needed open space for recreation, events, festivals and markets and a 20 per cent increase on the current car park for shoppers and retailers in the surrounding Chapel Street and Greville Street precincts. Cato Square will become an iconic cultural and recreational destination for residents, businesses, shoppers and visitors to Stonnington, with spaces for quiet contemplation or vibrant community events."
In a press release earlier this month City of Stonnington Mayor Cr Steve Stefanopoulos stated “We want to continue to enhance the vibrancy of our iconic Chapel Street precinct. Our vision is for this site to be recognised as a world-class public space that can be enjoyed by everyone.
We will achieve this by transforming the existing car park into an active, vibrant, safe and exciting public open space. Cato Square is a working name, and next year we’ll engage with our community about what to call the site once constructed, and also how to activate it with events and activities."
Lyons is the architectural force behind the project with ASPECT Studios accounting for Cato Square's landscape design.
Bound by Cato Street, Izett Street, Wattle Street and Chatham Street, the project is slated for a staged completion over 2019. By mid next year two levels of underground car parking will be available for public use with Cato Square set to open fully by October 2019.
Cato Square's major features include:
Invariably Stonnington City Council will hope that Cato Square will in time mirror the successful nature of Federation Square in attracting major crowds and significant public events.