Lendlease (ASX: LLC) has been selected as the preferred development partner for the largest urban renewal project undertaken by the City of Melbourne, involving three buildings and a $1.7 billion capital expenditure that will transform the southern side of the Queen Victoria Market.
The precinct south of the market's carpark will be known as Gurrowa Place, with Gurrowa meaning a place of exchange and interchange to the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People.
The project will include a 2-storey office building with approximately 43,000sqm of new workspace, and around 560 units to be delivered as build-to-rent residential apartments and affordable homes, plus an approximately 1,100-bed building dedicated to student accommodation set to be developed by Scape.
Lendlease will also restore the existing heritage Franklin Street Stores into a new retail village that will add to the city's hospitality culture and complement the Queen Victoria Market's offering. A 1.8-hectare public park is proposed for the ground plane, as well as a new 220-space basement car park for visitors.
The developer is collaborating with the Wurundjeri Elders on the precinct’s design which draws inspiration from a time before Melbourne and will honour the site’s history, including the reintroduction of native plants that once existed on the site.
Subject to planning approval, construction of the precinct is anticipated to commence from early 2024 and be complete in 2028, with a focus to deliver the car park, Market Square and the Queen’s Corner Building as part of the earlier stages of the project.
Lendlease has worked with NH Architecture, Kerstin Thompson Architects, 3XN Australia and Searle x Waldron Architecture, in conjunction with Openwork and McGregor Coxall, to conceptualise the proposed development scheme for the site.
"Delivering this project is a once-in-a generation opportunity to be part of one of Melbourne’s most iconic and beloved landmarks that has been serving the people of Melbourne for the past 140 years," says Lendlease's managing director of development, Tom Mackellar.
"The creation of Gurrowa Place begins the next chapter in the evolution of Queen Victoria Market. It will celebrate the rich history of the place, while introducing new spaces for the community and a vibrant precinct that welcomes locals and visitors.
"Lendlease looks forward to working alongside the City of Melbourne, Scape and all project partners, and the community to deliver a reimagined precinct that preserves the heart and soul of this Melbourne landmark while ensuring it continues to thrive."
The project is expected to generate in excess of $14 million of direct social investment through various employment, training and social enterprise initiatives and is expected to contribute more than $1 billion in value to Melbourne’s economy.
City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp says the landmark project is a strong sign of confidence in Melbourne as a destination for investment, workers, residents and visitors.
"This $1.7 billion project will deliver connected office space, student housing, affordable housing and more parking for market customers," the Lord Mayor says.
"We know this investment will attract thousands of new residents, workers and visitors, all while boosting business for traders.
"We’re proud to partner with Lendlease to deliver on our commitment to secure the market’s future and maintain a focus on parking for traders and customers."
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