Queen Victoria Market car park set for $1.7b redevelopment

Market Square will be developed over the ex-Old Melbourne Cemetery.

The City of Melbourne has appointed Lendlease to co-deliver a $1.7 billion mixed-use project, Gurrowa Place, on the 3.2 hectare Queen Victoria Market car park – part of which between 1837 and 1922 was the Old Melbourne Cemetery.

Three skyscrapers are planned for the southern end of the holding – the tallest, 49 floors, a 1100-bed student accommodation complex to be held and managed by Scape.

A second tower, rising 46 levels, will contain 560 apartments – the bulk, 476, which will be build to rent, with the balance allocated for affordable housing.

The third structure is a 28 storey, 43,000 square metre office, expected to be A-grade with ground floor retail.

This component will also include an 80 bay basement car park available for the public to use on weekends.

All buildings will have north facing views over a 1.7ha garden, Market Park, connecting the precinct to Queen Victoria Market stalls.

This precinct also houses the historic Queen’s Corner building which will be converted to a civic pavilion.

Meanwhile, Lendlease will restore and repurpose the Franklin Street Stores – a row of sheds running the block from William to Queen streets – for hospitality and retail.

The group will also deliver 220 basement car parks to replace the open-air ones it plans to build on.

The company’s appointment comes eight years since the CoM unsuccessfully called for an investment partner to develop the prominent site, bound by Franklin, Peel and Queen streets – arguably the top tip of Melbourne’s CBD given its view security of the low-rise QVM stalls.

A campaign was relaunched mid last year.

Master-planned CBD project CoMs biggest urban renewal to date

The all electric Gurrowa Place – the CoM’s biggest urban renewal project – is expected to be delivered by 2028 (story continues below).

Gurrowa Place from Peel Street.

The first stages however, Market Square and the Queen’s Corner Building, will come soon after construction begins next year.

With development schemes now to be penned by NH Architecture, Kerstin Thompson Architects, 3XN Australia, Searle X Waldron Architects and Openwork and McGregor Coxall, the master-planned CBD village will also include landscaping with native plants.

The agreement comes seven years since the CoM appointed PDG Corporation to co-develop the 6329 sqm Munro site, at the south east corner of Queen and Therry streets, that it bought for $76m in 2014 from the Munro family which held it since 1910.

Expected to carry an end value of c$450m upon completion, part of that block now accommodates a 38 storey, 490 unit BTR tower which PDG sold to Mirvac for $333.5m on a funds through basis in 2019.

Once in a generation chance: Lendlease

“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,” Lendlease managing director, Development, Tom Mackellar, said.

“The creation of Gurrowa Place begins the next chapter in the evolution of the 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” according to the executive.

Lord mayor Sally Capp added the precinct will boost business for traders.

“The $1.7b project will deliver connected office space, student housing, affordable housing and more parking for market customers,” she said.

“We know this investment will attract thousands of new residents, workers and visitors,” according to the politician.

“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”.

Subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Share or Recommend article

Marc Pallisco

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