‘Park’ development proposed for Melbourne’s Chinatown sparks debate

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‘Park’ development proposed for Melbourne’s Chinatown sparks debate
‘Park’ development proposed for Melbourne’s Chinatown sparks debate

A disused carpark in Victoria’s Chinatown could be receiving a bit of TLC in the near future, after City of Melbourne Councillors voted in favour of hospitality tycoon Maz Salt’s open-air restaurant ‘Park’.

The proposed hospitality venue designed by Baracco and Wright endeavours to cater to 200 patrons, with 150 seats available downstairs and another 50 on a roof deck. A large canopy covers the area of the venue, with a circular opening in the centre to provide an influx of natural light into the dining areas. The 454sqm will be landscaped with a crushed rock base and the central area will be planted with trees and greenery. A mesh cyclone fence will surround the perimeter section.

Plans for the development were discussed at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on the 19th of March, where the key issue identified was “the appropriateness of the built form within the existing heritage context”.

Contention around the application was expressed by 18 objections, with main concerns noting that the design was “out of character with the streetscape and wider heritage precinct” and fears that noise and smoking will cause problems due to the venue also functioning as a licensed bar.

The counter argument made by multiple Melbourne City Councillors reassured meeting attendees that the application would be assessed based on what was proposed (a restaurant with a commercial kitchen), rather than predicting any alterations and liquor licenses in future. The public will be able to enjoy the park without feeling the pressure to purchase food from the restaurant.

“It’s very straightforward, what is going to replace it will be of much higher quality of what is currently there at the moment.”

- Cr Leppert, Chair of the Arts Culture and Heritage portfolio

Park’s lease will be valid for three years. 

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Discussion (1 comment)

Grampians's picture
“Cyclone wire fence perimeter”
That”s a pathetic total loser right there
Do they think it is 1971?
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