The Metro Tunnel Project is close to completing its final two compulsory acquisitions in the CBD.
The Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA) has either compulsorily acquired or bought 16 properties around the sites of two new railway stations at CBD North and CBD South.
CBD News understands the authority is still working at taking full possession of two final properties at CBD South.
Seven properties have been acquired in the south. MMRA took possession of one in March and four in September.
In the north, it took possession of two properties in November last year and seven last month (September).
The MMRA is not saying what it paid for the properties or what compensation has been paid to property owners or affected businesses.
At the southern end of Swanston St, night works started on September 18 to remove awnings from the properties between Young & Jackson Hotel and the Nicholas Building.
The Hungry Jacks, Commonwealth Bank and Souvenir Collection buildings will be demolished first, followed by the McDonalds and KFC buildings.
The demolition of the five buildings at the southern end of Swanston St is expected to be completed by mid-December.
In the north, demolition is expected to be completed by early next year. Recent work focused on removing the contents, fittings and fixtures of the acquired buildings.
In late September work started to remove the awnings from buildings on Swanston St and LaTrobe St and the installation of hoardings and scaffolding.
Once this work is complete, major demolition will start at 212–222 LaTrobe St and 17-27 Little LaTrobe St.
A MMRA spokesperson said: “This is part of the transformation of Melbourne that the Metro Tunnel will trigger, both above and below ground. Once demolition is complete we can get on with the urgent task of building two new underground rail stations underneath Swanston St as part of delivering the Metro Tunnel, and a better train network for Victoria.”