Green light for Vic Market

By Laurence Dragomir, Urban Melbourne

The planning controls that deal with the upgrade of the Queen Victoria Market have now been approved by Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

The City of Melbourne will now need to work within a framework that places a mandatory height control of 125 metres on the “Munro” site, which the council bought in 2014 for $74 million.

Commenting on the approval, Mr Wynne said: “We’ve given careful consideration to get this amendment right. It’s all about striking a balance between the need for development and rejuvenation and protecting the market’s heritage.”

The project will see the erection of a temporary greenhouse pavilion designed by Breathe Architecture to house traders while heritage sheds A, B, C and D are dismantled, restored and reinstated allowing for underground services to be installed.

Further to this will be the creation of a new 1.5 ha public open space on the site of the current car park. 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.”

Elsewhere, the council has provided conditional approval for Salta Properties’ mixed-use tower at 57-63 Exhibition St.

Replacing ASF House, the currently 203m tower with an expected development cost of $255 million may be required to lose a few floors in order to prevent overshadowing of Birrarung Mar with City of Melbourne planners requesting the tower be reduced to 183 metres.

A mix of hotel and residential, 57-63 Exhibition St’s fate is ultimately with the Planning Minister.

And finally, Probuild signage has appeared on the hoardings for the multi-tower West Side Place development on Spencer St, signalling that a construction start is imminent. The first stage will include two towers of 69 and 80-storeys rising to heights of 235m and 270m respectively and will also include a Ritz-Carlton hotel in addition to 1200 apartments. A further two residential towers of over 200m are also planned.

West Side Place is opposite Far East Consortium’s other large scale urban infill project, Upper West Side. The now complete Upper West Side comprises four residential towers atop a shared podium on the site of the former Lonsdale St power station.

A fifth tower known as “The Fifth” on Rose Alley is currently being completed.

These projects, along with the under-construction Victoria Police headquarters at 311 Spencer St and the “Beyonce” Tower at 150 Spencer St will change the western face of Melbourne’s CBD.

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