Queen Victoria Market

The City of Melbourne has officially revealed PDG Corporation as developer of the 6239-square-metre Munro site, part of the Queen Victoria Market redevelopment in the heart of Melbourne.

PDG will build an underground car park and community facilities on the site, with the current market’s above-ground car park expected to be turned into 1.5 hectares of open space.

The development proposal includes the creation of 56 affordable housing units, a 120-place childcare facility, a family and children’s services centre, a community centre and kitchen, and an artist studio and city room gallery.

The are also a number of sustainability initiatives proposed, including 5 Star Green Star Design & As Built ratings and an average eight star NaTHERS rating for apartments, incorporating the WELL Building Standard into council facilities, and the inclusion of solar panels to north façade combined with a building energy dashboard.

“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,” Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said.

The deal will award $49.9 million to PDG to create the carpark and facilities, though also grants air rights to the site, such that a residential tower of up to 100 metres and 46,000 square metres can be built.

This, however, will have to be approved by state planning minister Richard Wynne, as there is a current 20-metre height limit on the block. He has previously voiced concerns regarding heritage and the appropriateness of development.

If PDG cannot gain approval for the residential tower, the council will stump up $80.1 million for the facilities.

Some community activists, including the Friends of Queen Victoria Market group, are opposed to the residential tower, saying the council had misled the community with previous artists’ impressions that only showed low-rise development.

Mr Doyle said the tower was justified, as it came with a host of community facilities and would be “architecturally spectacular”.