Yesterday marked another step in the long road to gaining a revamped Queen Victoria Market. The third stage of community engagement regarding the redevelopment has commenced, which coincides with the release of the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal Draft Master Plan.
The Draft Master Plan follows a period of consultation in which the community and those with vested interests in the market utilised the opportunity to inform Melbourne City Council as to what they would consider an ideal revamp of the institution. Following a period of further public consultation beginning this Monday coming, it's expected a final master plan will be delivered toward the end of 2015, with detailed design commencing thereafter.
And it's the final master plan which will outline the scope of works to be undertaken, where the current expectation is that the renewal may generate 9000 new jobs at the market, 12,000 jobs in the surrounding precinct and thousands of construction jobs.
According to the Draft Master Plan "Queen Victoria Market will be a ‘market of markets’, with a distinctive offer and experience in each of its main trading quarters, interlinked by a network of attractive public spaces and connected to the surrounding city by high quality streetscapes."
While Quarter 1 covers the existing halls of Lower Market, Quarter 2 or Upper Market with its Victorian sheds is due for substantial change. A new frontage to Peel Street will be created while the quadrant is still listed as a possible location for an underground car park.
Quarter 3 will consist of open-air sheds and new public open spaces capable of handling changing markets and events. Quarter 4 involves the recently purchased Munro site and will see new development including a restored Mercat Cross Hotel, fine grained retail, hospitality and community uses that complement Queen Victoria Market. The new mixed-use building will also carry a mid-block pedestrian link between Franklin Street and Therry Street, in turn providing easier access to the market for the thousands of apartments under construction on or near Franklin Street.
In 2013, Melbourne City Council committed to the largest investment in its history: up to $250 million to renew the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) precinct.
After 18 months of speaking with traders and the community about what the renewal might look like, we now have an ambitious master plan which will bring the market into the 21st century while preserving its unique character and heritage. It will retain what we all love about the market, such as the fresh meat and produce and speciality shops, while facilitating a contemporary retail offer, new public spaces and the realignment of Franklin Street to create an important East-West connection.
I invite the community to have their say on the draft plan which divides the seven-hectare market site into four quarters, each with its own unique characteristics, opportunities and potential future use. The quarters intersect at the Market Cross, a new meeting place in the heart of QVM.Lord Mayor Robert Doyle
The purchase of the Munro site has been a game-changer. It gives us more options when we look at locating car parking and community facilities within the market.
This is the third and most critical round of community engagement to date. We’ve laid out a vision for each of the market quarters, but we need to test that vision with traders, shoppers, visitors and residents of the precinct to find out what’s important to them.Councillor Stephen Mayne, Chair of Council’s Finance and Governance Portfolio
Noted in The Age yesterday was a piece outlining certain traders displeasure with the revamped market trading seven days a week. While not fundamentally against the changes that a redeveloped market would bring, their concerns lay primarily with the envisaged 6am-10pm trading hours.
Those gripes aside, Melbourne is a 24 hour city as championed by Melbourne City Council. QVM as one of Melbourne's premier tourist and shopping hubs absolutely should seek to trade as long as possible, bringing it in line with many other retailers throughout the CBD and surrounds. Provided there are sufficient ancillary entertainment options designed into the revamp, QVM should aspire to be of Melbourne's premier after dark drawcards, much like it is during the day... for five days a week at least.
Community engagement on the Queen Victoria Market Precinct Renewal Draft Master Plan is open from Monday March 2 to Sunday 29 March, 2015. For more information, see melbourne.vic.gov.au/participate or visit the engagement hub at 452 Queen Street at the market.