THE City of Melbourne last week announced that it has appointed leading property developer PDG Corporation as the developer of the landmark Munro site in the Queen Victoria Market precinct.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the Council owned site, at the corner of Queen and Therry streets, would be transformed into a significant community hub for the northern end of the city.
"When Council purchased this parcel of land in October 2014 for $76 million, we had a clear vision to work with a property developer to deliver an exemplar mixed-use development that would complement our renewal of the Queen Victoria Market and benefit businesses and residents," the Lord Mayor said.
"I am pleased to announce that we will be working with PDG Corporation to deliver a leading development that will include affordable housing units, a 120 place childcare facility, family and children's services centre, community centre and kitchen, artist studios and city room gallery, market customer car parking and complementary retail.
"In addition, the intersection of Queen and Therry streets will be closed to traffic and transformed into 'Market Cross', a pedestrian-friendly meeting place that can host markets, festivals and busking, as well as more places to sit, eat and relax.
"We are committed to protecting everything that traders and customers love about the Queen Victoria Market, however we recognise the urgent need for renewal and we will be working in collaboration with traders to minimise disruption as much as possible.
"The reason that Council purchased this key strategic site was to ensure that no supermarket, fast food or retail chain or unsuitable development could be built next to the market.
"The renewal of the market, along with the development of the Munro site, will ensure that Queen Victoria Market remains part of our city forever."
The Lord Mayor also said that Council was committed to honouring the Munro name and legacy as part of the project and was considering options to do so.
"It is also important to acknowledge that while Council was not the highest bidder for the site, the Munro family agreed to sell it to the City of Melbourne to secure its historical legacy."
The proposed development aims to be a leading example of sustainable development targeting 'Australian Excellence' in sustainability including an overall average 8 star NaTHERS energy rating in addition to incorporating social enterprises and providing social employment opportunities.
The Council facilities will be designed to a 'WELL Building Standard', an evidence-based scientific rating for human health and wellbeing; solar panels will also be included to the north façade of the new community building.
The City of Melbourne is now working with PDG Corporation on the preparation of a development application for consideration of the Minister for Planning as the Responsible Authority.
"With the contractual arrangement between the City of Melbourne and PDG Corporation now in place, we will progress the development application for lodgement with the Minister for Planning, at which time details of the design will be made publicly available," the Lord Mayor said.
PDG Corporation's Managing Director, Vince Giuliano, said that PDG was honoured to be given the opportunity to partner with the City of Melbourne on this landmark project that honours the legacy of the Munro site.
"PDG Corporation will draw on its extensive local experience, together with our exceptional team of architects and consultants, to deliver an exemplar community precinct," Mr Giuliano said.
"This project will enhance the City of Melbourne's vision for the renewal of the Queen Victoria Market and will provide an opportunity for Melburnians and our clients to be part of this historic development."