The City of Melbourne has released details on how and when it intends to revitalise the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) while keeping it open for business right throughout renewal.
As part of the proposed $250 million renewal, heritage sheds will undergo necessary restoration works, below-ground facilities will be built for traders and new public open spaces will be created.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said all projects seek to preserve the market’s history and secure its future, attracting new customers and creating a more viable, prosperous and safer market for traders.
“Queen Victoria Market is now and will always be a functioning, authentic market, and the proposed renewal works will vastly improve facilities for traders and customers, and create new open spaces,” Cr Doyle said.
“More than half the proposed budget will be spent below-ground, with cool rooms, storage, and dedicated delivery and loading docks to make the market safer, improve operations for traders, and create more room for customers and market trade in the long-term.”
“This ambitious project would have the largest ‘reach’ in terms of economic uplift and job creation of any project the City of Melbourne has undertaken, delivering an estimated net benefit of up to $1.2 billion with an impressive benefit cost ratio of 6:1, and the potential to create around 12,000 jobs.”
The implementation framework was to be considered by council on July 26, outlining how key projects will be staged over the next five years.
In recent weeks, all trader groups have been briefed on the staging approach and the commitment to work with them through the entire renewal process.
“It is expected that the renewal will take five years to complete, not up to 10 as initially thought, with many of the projects to be completed within one to two years of starting,” Cr Doyle said.
Queen Victoria Market Board chairman Paul Guerra said that some traders would need to relocate to enable the renewal works but new market sites would be created during the renewal program.
“We will support traders and monitor the performance of the market closely throughout the renewal program. Queen Victoria Market management is committed to finding places for all existing traders within the market precinct during the entire market renewal program – a commitment that has been confirmed in the many conversations we’ve had with traders in recent weeks,” Mr Guerra said.
“Every trader will have the opportunity to continue trading throughout the renewal period if they choose. It is our traders that make the market so special, and we will support them throughout this renewal.”
“We’ll work with traders and customers to design temporary on-site markets, and ensure they are exciting and vibrant places for customers to shop while giving our traders access to quality infrastructure.”
“We know car parking is important and this is reflected in the project staging. From September 1, we will be reducing car parking rates on market days to attract more customers throughout renewal and support our traders. The first hour of parking will be free on market days and $5 for two hours.
“We’ll also be ramping up our promotion of the day market so we can attract new customers and ensure our existing loyal customers know that we will be open for business right throughout renewal.”
Amenity upgrades of the whole market; Relocation of traders to two temporary sites; Construction of new car park on the Munro site starts; and Weather protection installed for sheds E and F.
Trading starts in temporary sites; Sheds A, B, C and D removed for restoration and storage; and Work starts on below-ground operational area.
Franklin St extended through southern end of existing car park; and Sheds E and F “enhanced”.
Elizabeth St terraces “enhanced”; Below-ground works start at the meat, fish and dairy section; Construction of new public open space (Market Square) and new building (Queens Corner); Sheds J, K, L and M “enhanced”; and Southern development site prepared.
Enhancement of food court and Victoria St terraces; “Transformation” of Sheds H and I; “Enhancement” of Dairy Produce Hall, Meat and Fish Hall and Deli Lane; Market Cross area; and Southern site development.
The implementation framework outlines how and where some traders will need to relocate to enable delivery of the renewal program. This primarily impacts traders in Sheds A-D, H and I, the Victoria St terraces and Franklin St stores.
More than half the renewal budget will be spent on two connected underground facilities below sheds A-D and H and I. More room will be created for customers and traders will have critical infrastructure such as cool rooms, storage, food preparation areas, waste and recycling facilities and dedicated delivery and loading areas.
Heritage sheds restored and returned:
The market’s historic open air sheds, A–D, will be carefully dismantled and restored, before they are returned to where they stand today. Customers and traders will continue to enjoy the open air atmosphere they love, with this historic part of the market revitalised into a fresh food market. Sheds E to F will be enhanced with much needed weather protection. Sheds J, K, L and M sheds will be upgraded with new infrastructure and facilities, supporting day trading while creating a new event space.
New customer car parking will be built in the Munro site and explored in other areas of the market, including below Sheds A to D.
The current customer car park will be transformed into Market Square on 1.5 hectares of public open space. The intersection of Queen and Therry streets will become the Market Cross, a pedestrian-friendly meeting place that can host markets, festivals and busking, as well as spaces for sitting, eating and relaxation.
More places to eat and meet:
Sheds H and I will be transformed into a key food destination where people can sit and enjoy the market’s local produce. Deli Lane, currently doubling as a delivery zone and eating area, will become a community meeting place and outdoor dining area. The Food Court will also be revitalised.
The iconic exterior of the Meat and Fish Hall will be revitalised, with the familiar façade restored. The heritage-listed Elizabeth St terraces and Victoria St terraces will receive a facelift.