QVM renewal update

By Sean Car

The City of Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market (QVM) Precinct Renewal Program has passed a total project spend of $50 million since its launch in 2013 according to the most recent quarterly report presented to councillors on February 23. 

The latest report into the program noted the total project spend as of December 31, 2020, which included $11.31 million during the current financial year.

The report follows Heritage Victoria’s approval of permits for the new Northern and Trader Sheds on Queen St, which the council described as a “key project element” delivered between October and December. 

While heritage restoration of the sheds continues, the report also included news of a key milestone at the Munro development with the council’s new community hub topping out at level 10 in December. 

“Construction of the hub building, and basement market car park is progressing well in preparation of the handover of the 500-space market car park and fit out of this space to be operational in the second half of 2021,” the report stated. 

The report went on to state that the handover of the carpark later this year would pave the way for the first phases of the new Market Square open space to get underway. 

The report also mentioned that an expression of interest process seeking parties to develop the controversial Southern Development Site was scheduled to be released by “April/May”.

“Funds secured through the development of this land will be reinvested into the renewal program,” the report stated.  

According to the council, the overall QVM renewal program budget has been revised from $308 million to $268 million following $40 million worth of “targeted savings” identified as part of the council’s 2020/21 Annual Plan.

“Costs savings have been made across the overall program to ensure delivery of the renewal against the 2015 Master Plan. An updated business case reflecting the revised budget will be presented for Council’s consideration in 2021,” the report stated.

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