As mentioned during Episode 2 of the Urban Melbourne podcast, new images have emerged on the forum for The Walk Arcade redevelopment, located in the heart of the city in Bourke Street Mall and extending through to Little Collins Street.
This has coincided with an application being submitted to DELWP on the 9th February for "Alterations, additions (including partial demolition) to existing buildings for the purposes of retail premises, residential hotel and gym."
According to the AFR late last year, the Singaporean owner has plans for a major overhaul of the well-known shopping mall that looks set to include a new hotel, replacing the existing red-brick warehouse which extends to Little Collins Street.
Without access to detailed plans, the extent of demolition of other heritage structures is not yet fully clear aside from the ground and first floors.
In preparation for the redevelopment, owner Hua Sin Tay - who paid $18 million for the Walk Arcade in 1993 - has signed up a series of pop-up stores to take over vacancies from departing tenants for 12 months through to Christmas of this year.
The 20 or so remaining tenants have leases with development clauses says the AFR article. It goes on to say that should development plans be approved, it is expected the arcade would be shut down completely to make way for the redevelopment.
The design as indicated in the renders would replace an earlier scheme by Artisan Architects, with a focus on activating Union Lane with glazed shopfronts. Currently a narrow thoroughfare, Union Lane is characterized by its blank walls and roller doors covered in street art and tags.
The only element of the Artisan Architects design is the entry canopies to Bourke Street which were installed as part of the first stage of works, almost five years ago.
Situated in the heart of the Melbourne CBD on the Bourke Street Mall, this project involves the refurbishment of seven existing buildings above the Walk Arcade and the construction of a new 10 storey building on Bourke Street. Once completed, the development will provide 466 new apartments and 1500 m2 of extra retail space in the mall.
The project presents a well-considered response to the difficulty of placing a residential complex in the heart of a commercial precinct. The new 10-storey building uses a vertical screen to provide visual privacy to the apartments as well as sun protection.
At the lower level, the screen is used as a backdrop to a full size photographic image of the building that occupied the space in the 1920's. At night time, the new building will become a lantern on Bourke Street Mall with the screen revealing the activities behind.
- Artisan Architects