Big numbers sought for PDG's Munro Site development

Big numbers sought for PDG's Munro Site development
Big numbers sought for PDG's Munro Site development

Despite being height limited to 125 metres, the raw development numbers for the intended Munro Site tower opposite Queen Victoria Market propel the proposal into the upper echelon based purely upon size.

Developer PDG with the backing of Melbourne City Council had initially mooted a tower just shy of 200 metres for the 6,233 square metre site, only to have the Planning Minister impose a height limit of 125 metres. This has not perturbed the development team, with gross floor area for the proposal before DELWP approaching 100,000 square metres.

Design firms Bates Smart and Six Degrees Architects are responsible for the respective east and west portions of the Munro Site.

Costed at $230 million, the development has been supported of Melbourne City Council from the outset as part of their wider redevelopment intentions for the entire Queen Victoria Market Precinct. Whilst plans to push on with the market's redevelopment were snagged last week due to a Heritage Victoria edict, the Munro Site's progression is a separate application.

Big numbers sought for PDG's Munro Site development
CBD skyline with Munro to the fore. Planning image: Bates Smart / 6 Degrees Architects

From the outset Melbourne City Council had sought a truly mixed-use development for the Munro Site who's major frontage absorbs 93-143 Therry Street, and this is very much reflected within the development application on behalf of PDG.

410 apartments are spread across the two buildings, with 48 dedicated to affordable housing. Three bedroom dwellings are well represented with 56 in total, whilst 86 and 220 single and double bedroom apartments are also intended.

Melbourne stands to gain another new hotel or serviced apartment location, with 81 hotel rooms/suites shrouding the podium of the taller Bates Smart-designed tower.

It is though at ground level and subsequent podium levels where the development drives home key initiatives sought by Melbourne City Council. 5,332 square metres of space is considered communal in nature; the bulk of that space is within the Six Degrees Architects-designed western building.

Big numbers sought for PDG's Munro Site development
Ground level perspective. Planning image: Bates Smart / 6 Degrees Architects

Council's desire for a new retail precinct has also been fulfilled with a mass of tenancies at ground level, in addition to two taverns. One effectively replaces the Mercat Cross Hotel and includes capacity for 350 patrons, whilst a new restaurant/bar for 180 patrons fronts Therry Street.

Parking for 666 vehicles has been rolled into the project, as has the capacity for 412 bicycle bays, with associated end of trip bicycle facilities.

Parking will be located within four basement levels and above ground within the podium of the east tower. Access to parking is split between Queen Street and Therry Street.

Of the existing buildings, the only aspect expected to be incorporated into the new build is Munro's Corner.

Big numbers sought for PDG's Munro Site development
A retail heavy ground floor. Planning image: Bates Smart / 6 Degrees Architects

Site permeability and street activation are key to both enlivening the site and ensuring the maximum number of retail tenancies at ground level.

The proposal provides for excellent street activation across all frontages along Therry Street, Queen Street and the new north-south laneway and north-south arcade that is consistent with the above requirements.

As the site along Queen Street is only 52 metres and there is no specific requirement within QVMPFP for an east-west pedestrian link there is no technical requirement for a link to be provided along this frontage. The proposed development incorporates a 6 metre wide north-south pedestrian laneway in the centre of the site along Therry Street that connects to a new eastwest laneway running along the southern boundary of the site which also connects to the existing laneway network to Franklin Street.

In addition a pedestrian arcade is also provided through the centre of the Munro East site.

Munro Site planning report

The format of the north-south spur passage suggests that should any developer with to redevelop the adjoining Franklin Street property, they may be urged by Council to extend the pedestrian link further south in order to create a complete through block pedestrian thoroughfare.

Big numbers sought for PDG's Munro Site development
Internal passage softened by greenery. Planning image: Bates Smart / 6 Degrees Architects
Melbourne City Council PDG Bates Smart Six Degrees Architects Munro Site QVM redevelopment


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