A PROJECT to deliver in excess of 100,000 square metres of warehousing in the new Melbourne Wholesale Market development at Epping was this week announced by Victorian Major Projects Minister Denis Napthine.
The Victorian Government has launched the expressions of interest process for the construction of the proximity warehousing, which it said was a crucial element of the new Melbourne Wholesale Market and would contribute to the new market being the very best facility of its type in Australia.
"Following comprehensive business planning and consultation with both market stakeholders and the construction sector, we are now seeking expressions of interest from the private sector to build more than 100,000 square metres of warehousing," Dr Napthine said.
The Minister said warehousing is critical to market tenants for storage of goods before they are taken to the trading floor, as well as supporting processes which value-add to products received from growers.
"By having warehousing inside the market just a forklift drive away from the trading floor stores and stands, rather than kilometres away in an external warehouse, means significant transport costs and other efficiencies are gained by tenants," Dr Napthine said.
The current market on Footscray Road, West Melbourne, has a total of 33,000 square metres of warehouse space, resulting in only a small portion of tenants having access to onsite warehousing, according to the Minister.
"Responding to a survey on warehousing demand late last year, current tenants indicated an interest in as much as 125,000 square metres of warehousing at the new market," Dr Napthine said.
According to the government, the procurement model for the warehouse involves three categories:
- The State will procure 30,000 square metres of warehousing to be made available to tenants requiring smaller sized areas of warehousing – up to 1,200 square metres per tenant;
- Tenants seeking more than 1,200 square metres and up to 5,000 square metres will have an opportunity to gain warehousing through the selected private sector builder/developer; and
- Tenants requiring more than 5,000 square metres will be able to submit proposals to directly manage the delivery of their own warehousing or have this delivered by the selected private sector builder/developer.
The procurement process for the warehousing will take place over two distinct stages: an initial Expression of Interest (EOI) stage, currently underway; and a Request for Proposal stage, for those parties short listed from the EOI stage.
Construction of market warehousing is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2013, with the market scheduled to open in 2014/2015.