Demolition in full swing at City of Melbourne's 'Munro site'

Laurence DragomirJanuary 22, 20190 min read

This morning, City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp joined PDG Corporation’s Managing Director, Vince Giuliano at the former Munro site located adjacent to the Queen Victoria Market, to announce that demolition works onsite have commenced in earnest.

With builder Hamilton Marino at the helm, the City of Melbourne is starting construction on significant new community facilities, interconnecting laneways and a hotel and residential development adjacent to the iconic Queen Victoria Market market. The historic Mercat Cross Hotel facade on the corner of Queen and Therry streets will be retained, restored and integrated into the new development.

Demolition in full swing at City of Melbourne's 'Munro site'
Demolition progress onsite at the Munro site. Image: Urban forum member redden

The City of Melbourne entered into an agreement with developer PDG Corporation after Council acquired the site in 2014, to develop a 120-place childcare centre, 56 affordable housing units, a community centre and kitchen and 500 basement car parks for market customers with an end value of $70 million. This will assist in making the market more accessible for shoppers and freeing up the current surface car parking site for a new ‘Market Square’.

The community component of the project has been designed by Six Degrees Architects who say it has been designed as an exemplar council development, with high ESD values and an exceptional emphasis on consultation with users and stakeholders.

PDG will develop the balance of the site with a 40-storey residential tower accommodating 360 units and an 80-room hotel. According to architects Bates Smart, the tower has been designed to "maximise direct solar access and to provide natural ventilation to all apartments, thereby creating a model for high quality inner-city living within Melbourne."

Bates Smart took inspiration for the building’s façade from the fine grain texture of the market’s historic sheds and stalls providing the development with an appropriately contextual response.

QVM Residences has been designed to be one of Australia’s most sustainable mixed-use developments. It will include a boutique hotel, fine grain retail and a limited number of apartments for sale.

The development draws on values of sustainability, health and modern design with the market’s legacy and Melbourne’s laneway culture serving as major points of inspiration. The result is a singular lifestyle offered to future residents, who will enjoy an incredible selection of vegetables, produce, delicacies and bespoke offerings at their door.

- PDG Corporation

Demolition in full swing at City of Melbourne's 'Munro site'
Artist's impression of the Munro development. Image: PDG Corporation

The City of Melbourne will decide on the course of action to take with regard to the $250 million redevelopment of the Queen Victoria Market, following a series of recommendations put forward in a report prepared by the 'People's Panel.' The 40-person People's Panel comprises market traders, customers and local residents selected during an independent selection process. 

The City of Melbourne's Future Committee at its 10 December 2018 meeting resolved to request that management progresses seven recommendations, analyses three recommendations and refers a further three to QVM Pty Ltd for consideration.

A report will now be prepared for a Council meeting in the first quarter of 2019 including analysis of the provision of market infrastructure at G Shed, car parking for vans, buses and large vehicles as well as further investigation of the minority report.

In addition to the 500 car parks in Munro, management will investigate an additional 500 car parks in the precinct with the current at grade car park to become an open space once transitional parking there is no longer required.  The report will also consider implications to the Implementation Framework and Business Case.

- City of Melbourne

The People's Panel Report can be viewed here.

What they say...

We’re expecting 24,000 new residents in this area by 2040 so it’s essential we provide more community facilities and pedestrian friendly spaces to meet the needs of the growing population as well as encouraging more people to come to the market precinct.

We’re delivering a new network of interconnecting laneways featuring retail stores, cafes and restaurants. The popular street art precinct in Blender Lane will remain and the new community facilities will better connect the market precinct to the city.

We purchased this site from the Munro family five years ago to protect the market from inappropriate development and prevent a supermarket or large chain stores being built in direct competition to fresh food offerings of the Queen Vic Market.

We’ve made sure the Mercat Cross Hotel is incorporated as a central feature within the community facilities and the iconic sign and balcony will be a tribute to the site’s history

- Lord Mayor Sally Capp, City of Melbourne


PDG is delighted to achieve a significant milestone on this highly anticipated and vital project. The end result will be an exemplary mixed-use development that provides tremendous benefits to the community.

In collaboration with the City of Melbourne, we are now able to continue advancing Melbourne’s premier mixed-use project – a development that will be leading-edge for sustainability and liveability next door to Victoria’s most beloved and visited icon, Queen Victoria Market.

- Vince Giuliano, PDG Corporation Managing Director

 Lead image: Original image courtesy of PDG Corporation

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.
City of Melbourne
PDG Corporation
Bates Smart
Six Degrees
Queen Victoria Market
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