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Historic partnership to boost business and iconic market experience

28 June 2023
Artist impression of the Southern Precinct development in the Queen Victoria Market precinct, featuring three towers overlooking the market.

The City of Melbourne will partner with Lendlease to transform the Queen Victoria Market precinct with the biggest mixed-use development in Council’s history – attracting more customers and boosting business for traders.

Gurrowa Place will be developed by Lendlease, following Council’s landmark divestment of the Southern Precinct – generating more than $1 billion in economic activity and creating more than 4,000 new jobs.

The once-in-a-generation project will enhance the traditional market experience Melburnians and visitors know and love – with iconic laneways and arcades to explore, a uniquely Melbourne retail offering, and new spaces to bring people together.

The $1.7 billion development to be delivered in partnership with Lendlease will include build-to-rent apartments and 15 per cent affordable housing, student accommodation and a landmark office space across three buildings – all connected to the market by the soon-to-be revamped Franklin Street stores.

It will bring new residents and workers to the city’s north, significantly increasing customers to the market.

A new underground car park will provide 220 spaces for market customers, and 300 spaces on weekends. This is in addition to the 500 spaces already open in the Munro development – ensuring there will be no loss of parking.

The development is Council’s most significant partnership with the private sector and will ensure the market is at the forefront of the nation’s tourism offering for decades to come.

Council will also create a new Market Square for the city – unlocking one of the largest open spaces in the CBD. The 1.8 hectare ‘people’s park’, to be built by Lendlease, will become a magnet for residents, locals and visitors.

In consultation with Traditional Owners, Gurrowa Place will pay tribute to the site’s history. Gurrowa means place of exchange or interchange, reflecting the purpose of the market.

The development has been designed by world-leading architects, and will set a new benchmark for sustainability – creating a precinct rich in biodiversity, while targeting Carbon Neutral Precinct Certification and 5 and 6 Star Green Star ratings.

Gurrowa Place will complement a range of projects already delivered by Council in the precinct – including heritage shed restoration, the new Munro library and community hub, hospitality and retail offerings in the Munro development and Mirvac’s build-to-rent project on Therry Street.

The divestment of the Southern Precinct follows an agreement with the State Government in 2014 to transfer the site to Council to be sold, with all funds reinvested in the market’s renewal.

Community members will be invited to have their say on a range of project components over the coming months. For more information, visit City of Melbourne.

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp

“Our landmark divestment of the Southern Precinct will transform our city’s north with a vibrant new precinct bursting with uniquely Melbourne experiences – creating an enduring legacy for the Queen Victoria Market for generations to come.”

“Gurrowa Place will enrich the traditional market offerings Melburnians and visitors know and love – attracting thousands of new residents, workers and visitors and boosting business for traders.”

“This globally-iconic precinct will be a place to celebrate – with spaces for events, world-class retail and new laneways and arcades to complement the beloved market experience.”

“Traders will benefit from more customers and activity, with every dollar of this sale reinvested into the preservation and renewal of the precinct.”

“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.”

“Melbourne is the fastest-growing capital city in the country – and this development is a vote of confidence in our future. Lendlease could invest anywhere in the world, but it’s choosing Melbourne.”

Quotes attributable to Lendlease Managing Director Development Tom Mackellar

“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.”

“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.”

Key facts – Southern Precinct

  • Three buildings overlooking the iconic market precinct, Flagstaff Gardens and the CBD.
    • Tower 1 – 28 level next-generation sustainable office and retail
    • Tower 2 – around 560 residential apartments, including build-to-rent and 15 per cent affordable housing
    • Tower 3 – student accommodation featuring around 1,100 beds, delivered by Scape.
  • Ground-floor activations, spaces for events, retail and dining, and laneways to explore.
  • An underground car park with 220 spaces for market customers, and 300 spaces on weekends, beneath towers 1 and 2.
  • Restored Franklin Street stores, to be retained by Council, to create a vibrant retail hub that complements the market’s unique offerings.
  • Construction to commence in early 2024 and be delivered in stages over the next five years.

Key facts – Market Square

  • The Queen Victoria Market Master Plan sets out that the market’s open-air car park will be converted into Market Square – 1.8 hectares of new public open space.
  • The Market Square Charter was developed in consultation with the community in 2019 to guide future design of the space.
  • The City of Melbourne will lead the design, and manage Market Square, with Lendlease delivering the new space.
  • The Queen’s Corner Building will support Market Square with public amenities and activations to draw people to the market.
  • Community members will have a chance to have their say on the use and design of Market Square and the Queen’s Corner Building in the coming months.

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