Melbourne Markets Relocation Project Overview

This project is one of the largest infrastructure projects being undertaken in Victoria. The Markets are an important part of the state’s economic infrastructure, with an annual turnover in excess of $1.5 billion.

The core of the precinct will be the relocated Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market and National Flower Centre currently located in Footscray Road.

The precinct will also include an extensive, complementary development accommodating facilities and businesses that improve and develop the transportation, handling and marketing of fresh produce.

The Melbourne Market Relocation Project is more than just relocating a facility from one site to another. It is about ensuring the ongoing viability and relevance of the Wholesale Market as an essential link in the distribution channel for fresh produce in Australia by developing a new, efficient and integrated trading environment. The new Market will:

• Meet current and future needs for warehousing space
• Cater for modern logistics
• Encourage innovation in transport, equipment, materials handling, storage and IT in the fresh food industry

Redeveloping the Market into an Efficient and Integrated Trading Environment
• The new market at Epping will provide market users with significant improvements in logistics, access and OH&S.
• The trading floor alone will provide improved access to all areas of the floor for the users and they will also have undercover loading and unloading bays immediately adjacent to the trading floor. This is an important consideration in maintaining quality of product to the general public.
• There will be ample opportunity for warehousing in close proximity to the trading floor. The current market has 30,000m2 of warehousing (and has no room to increase this). It is believed there is a demand for around 60,000m2 of warehousing – this can easily be accommodated at the Epping site.
• Market users will also enjoy the opportunities and benefits that will come from being part of an interactive and integrated fresh food-related business precinct.
• Benefits

As it is fully developed over the next 10-20 years, the new Market precinct incorporating the Market’s core trading facility, warehousing, distribution centres and value-added business is expected to drive over $1 billion of investment on the site.

The relocation of the Market is also expected to provide substantial economic benefits to the State through a more efficient Market precinct and freeing up the existing Footscray Road site for port and rail development over the next 20 years.

Greater user participation in the governance and management of the Epping Market

Progress on the development of the new Market at Epping is well underway.

The principles under which the Market will be developed are part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was agreed to and signed by the State and the market community’s project entity Victoria Fresh Markets Pty Ltd (VFM) on 20 December 2007.

The MOU brings together Government and the market community in a shared vision for the future of the Market and gives market participants the opportunity to help design and develop the facility to meet current and future business needs.

The MOU also sets the timetable for the Market’s operations to begin in 2011 and allows for the possible purchase of the complex by market tenants in 2015, if the project’s objectives and timelines have been met under an independent review process.

VFM has entered into a joint venture with the ASX-listed Mirvac Group. This positions the market community to be able to develop, finance and deliver on and off-site warehousing and other complementary facilities so that the new Market at Epping can be fully functional on opening.

A review of the procurement strategy for the Market is now under way.

Anticipated Timelines
Commence construction  2009
Construction complete by 2011
Relocation of market end 2011

 

Comments or queries: email melbournemarket.relocation@dpi.vic.gov.au

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

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