City of Melbourne votes to appoint preferred developer for Munro site in QVM precinct

THE landmark Munro site in the Queen Victoria Market precinct will be home to community facilities, affordable housing and market car parking after the City of Melbourne last week voted to appoint a preferred developer for the Council-owned site.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the City of Melbourne would now enter into an agreement with the property developer to deliver 56 affordable housing units, a 120 place childcare facility, family and children's services centre, community centre and kitchen, artist studio and city room gallery, and customer car parking.

Looking north-east from Queen Victoria Market
Above: Looking north-east from Queen Victoria Market / Tourism Victoria.

"In 2014, the City of Melbourne made a bold strategic decision to purchase the Munro site for $76 million as part of the renewal of the much-loved Queen Victoria Market," the Lord Mayor said.

"Council has now decided on a single preferred developer for this prime 6329 square metre site and following finalisation of contracts, work will commence on a planning application for this exciting development."

At the meeting last week, the Council also moved three amendments that seek to: protect the Indigenous heritage of the Old Melbourne Cemetery; guarantee the continued sale of fresh fruit and vegetables in H and I Sheds after the renewal is completed; require a full assessment of the access options to the underground operational areas to minimise impacts on the precinct's important heritage.

"The proposed return of the market's current asphalt carpark to 1.5 hectares of public space, the largest open space created in the city since Birrarung Marr, would not have been possible without the purchase of the Munro site, where car parking spaces will be relocated underground," Cr Doyle said.

"The City of Melbourne wants to protect and preserve our iconic market now and for future generations of Melburnians which is why we will ensure that there will never be a supermarket, large franchised chain store or fast food retailer on this site.

"Our plans for the Munro site will also include the revitalisation of surrounding streetscapes including Franklin, Therry and Queen streets.'

The renewal of Queen Victoria Market has the potential to create around 12,000 jobs and deliver an estimated net benefit of up to $1.2 billion, according to a recent independent report from SGS.

At the meeting, the Council also voted to adopt Planning Scheme Amendment C245 following the receipt of a report from Planning Panels Victoria, a critical component of the planning for the renewal, which will now be forwarded to the Minister for Planning for approval.

"The Planning Scheme Amendment will help us deliver on the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal Master Plan by better connecting the city with the market precinct: allowing us to create better streets, new laneways and a significant new public space," the Lord Mayor said.

"We are pleased the panel took the first large conceptual leap from a 20 metre maximum building height on the former Munro site and 7 metres on the future southern site to a discretionary 100 metre height limit for both parcels, with a provision to go higher subject to 3D modelling and an assessment of the visual impact on the open space and public realm."

An Implementation Framework outlines how key renewal projects will be staged over the next five years.

More information is available from the City of Melbourne website at <http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/building-and-development/urban-planning/local-area-planning/queen-victoria-market-precinct-renewal-plan/Pages/queen-victoria-market-precinct-renewal-plan.aspx>.

Photo: Looking north-east from Queen Victoria Market / Tourism Victoria / Licensed under Creative Commons BY 2.0.

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