Open space delayed

The City of Melbourne has postponed its Elizabeth St transformation for 12 months to accommodate a nearby office tower development.

In May, the council announced it would create a much-needed new public space on the southern end of Elizabeth St.

Instead, a temporary park will be created between December and February before the next stage of the Fivex development starts.

Elizabeth and Flinders streets’ corner is one of the busiest CBD intersections, with 9300 pedestrians pounding the pavement during the morning peak.

The $2.2 million project has been pushed back due to the construction of a five-storey office building on the adjacent Fivex site at 276 Flinders St.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the delay in public space was “based on maintaining pedestrian safety around construction activities and allowing the important development for our city to get underway”.

“We also need to prevent damage to new public space infrastructure that would likely result from construction vehicles,” he said.

Built on a previous bank site, the Fivex tower will provide 4000sqm of the office space and will also incorporate early learning facilities.

The permanent open space, featuring street furniture, lighting, bluestone paving and trees, will now be delivered in 2019.

The eastern side of Elizabeth St has been permanently closed for traffic.

“We’re fully supportive of the permanent closure of the eastern side of Elizabeth St. The combined impact of our $40 million development and the partial road closure will bring added vitality to an area that is such an important pedestrian gateway for the city,” Fivex’s managing director Lesli Berger said.

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