In brief: The City of Melbourne has revealed details of its Queen Victoria Market upgrade, which it expects to generate the largest benefits of any project the council has undertaken.
Modelling conducted by SGS Economics & Planning claimed there would be a net benefit of $1.2 billion, the creation of 12,000 jobs and a benefit–cost ratio of 6:1.
Today, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle revealed more than half of the $250 million budget would go towards creating underground facilities for market traders, with cool rooms, storage, and dedicated delivery and loading docks.
The plan also sees the existing car park turned into a market square on 1.5 hectares of public open space. A pedestrian-friendly “market cross” will be created on the intersection of Queen and Therry Street, which will feature space for markets, festivals and busking, as well as areas for sitting.
Also on the corner of Queen and Therry, and causing “serious concern” for state planning minister Richard Wynne, according to The Age, is a residential tower that could rise 30 storeys.
Mr Wynne has also voiced concern about heritage and the move to seven-day operation.
Mr Doyle said if approved, the renewal would take just five years to complete, half the original 10 previously estimated, with many projects taking just a year or two. The markets will continue to operate during the construction phase, though some operators will need to relocate.
“Queen Victoria Market is now and will always be a functioning, authentic market, and the proposed renewal works will vastly improve facilities for traders and customers, and create new open spaces,” he said.