Lendlease gains approval for $1.7b transformation of Queen Victoria Market precinct

Lendlease gains approval for $1.7b transformation of Queen Victoria Market precinct

Artist's impression of Lendlease's proposed $1.7 billion development at Queen Victoria Markets

Australian development giant Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC) has been granted approval to proceed with a $1.7 billion mixed-use project that will transform the southern end of the Queen Victoria Market precinct in Melbourne’s CBD.

The Victorian Department of Transport and Planning has issued its formal approval for Gurrowa Place, which is described as being part of the largest urban renewal project undertaken by the City of Melbourne.

The development is set to revitalise the QVM precinct’s 3.2ha southern site, bordered by Franklin, Queen and Peel streets, with new commercial, residential and retail offerings, as well as public open space.

Gurrowa Place will comprise three towers including a 28-storey next-generation workplace, and will include about 560 build-to-rent apartments, in addition to 80 affordable homes, and bout 1,100 student residences to be managed by accommodation provider Scape.

The plan includes a 1.8ha public park which will be known as Market Square and designed by the City of Melbourne in collaboration with Lendlease.

The works will also incorporate the restoration of the existing heritage Franklin Street Stores into a new retail village to complement the QVM offering and will include 220 basement car parks for visitors and traders.

The approvals granted by the state government come on the heels of Lendlease last week executing contracts with student accommodation provider Scape and the City of Melbourne for the urban regeneration project.

Lendlease has secured planning permits for early works with construction expected to start in the next few months, pending final approvals.

“The $1.7b Gurrowa Place project represents an enormous opportunity to revitalise one of Melbourne’s most-loved precincts with new public space, retail, office and housing,” says Tony Lombardo, the global CEO, at Lendlease.

“With construction expected to commence in the coming months, we’ve commenced discussions with capital partners interested in working alongside Lendlease and our stakeholders to bring the project to life on behalf of Melburnians.

“Achieving the twin milestones of contract close and development plan approval underscores the significant momentum right across our Australian business, Lendlease’s traditional growth engine, as we replenish our local pipeline of development projects and repatriate capital from offshore.”

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp says Gurrowa Place will become home to “thousands of new residents, attract more market customers and boost business for traders while unlocking one of the largest open spaces in the CBD”.

“We’re one step closer to starting work to enhance the traditional market experience Melburnians and visitors know and love,” says Capp.

“This $1.7 billion vote of confidence from Lendlease is Council’s most significant partnership with the private sector – which will create more than 4,000 jobs and secure the market’s future.”

Lendlease is acting as development and construction partner for the commercial and build-to-rent towers, with Scape acting as developer of the student accommodation.

Scape is Australia’s largest purpose-built student accommodation owner and operator with 16,000 beds in 35 buildings across Australia’s four key educational precincts of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

“Scape continues our investment in Melbourne as a global leader in the education sector,” says Scape Australia CEO Anouk Darling.

“We are excited to partner with Lendlease and the City of Melbourne at Gurrowa Place.”

Gurrowa Place is earmarked for completion in FY28.

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