Milestone in QVM renewal as car park opened at Munro
By Brendan Rees
A 500-space undercover car park at the Queen Victoria Market has finally opened – paving the way for new public open space on the original car park and bringing an end to a significant part of the renewal of the market.
Located at the corner of Queen and Therry streets, directly opposite the market’s trader sheds and nearby to the Dairy Produce and Meat and Fish Hall, the car park is the first public facility to open as part of the new Munro Development.
The City of Melbourne built the undercover carpark to compensate for the current open-air car park which will be turned into public open space as part of the market’s $250m precinct renewal program.
Queen Victoria Market CEO Stan Liacos said the car park, which features 12 e-chargers for electric vehicles, would improve convenience for customers.
“The market’s new secure undercover car park offers shoppers the convenience of cheaper short stay parking right in the heart of the market, allowing visitors to experience everything Queen Victoria Market has to offer, including fresh produce, cafés, restaurants and specialty shopping, at reduced parking rates,” Mr Liacos said.
“Our customers and traders have told us they want greater access to affordable parking in close proximity to the market and we are delighted to be able to deliver this.”
Lord Mayor Sally Capp, who cut a ribbon to celebrate the opening of the new carpark on July 9, said $45 million would be spent on renewal projects this financial year.
“We’re supporting our city economy and creating 500 new building and construction jobs from our investment in the market precinct,” she said.
“It’s more important than ever that we get on with renewal to protect everything that is great about the market – for shoppers, traders, visitors and all Melburnians.”
“The opening of the new car park is good news for the more than 600 small businesses at the market that need our support.”
When completed in 2022, the Munro development will also see affordable housing, community facilities, a boutique hotel, complementary hospitality and retail stores added, plus new open spaces and laneways.
While many traders welcomed the opening of the new car park at Munro last month, some raised concerns about the practicality of the underground facility.
Stall holder Jeff Pike, who has been selling hats for 33 years, said he was “quite happy with the old car park” and believed it was easier for people to “walk straight in” rather than use lifts.
“Especially in a COVID environment, how many people are going to be allowed in the lift? It’s not well-thought out to be truthful,” he said.
The undercover car park will be free from 6am to 9am, and $4 for the first two hours after 9am. Each additional hour will be $3 with a daily maximum of $40. Event and evening parking (after 4.30pm) will be $10 •