Gurrowa Place: historical mixed-use development to transform Queen Vic Market

by Sophie Berrill
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Gurrowa Place

The City of Melbourne will partner with developer Lendlease to transform the Queen Victoria Market precinct with the biggest mixed-use development in Council’s history: Gurrowa Place.

The proposed scheme includes three new buildings on the site south of Queen Victoria Market’s car park. At approximately 3.2 hectares, the $1.7 billion Gurrowa Place development will include build-to-rent apartments and 15 percent affordable housing, student accommodation and a landmark office space. All will connect to the market via the soon-to-be revamped Franklin Street stores. 

Gurrowa Place 

According to the City of Melbourne, the once-in-a-generation project will enhance the traditional market experience the locals have come to know. There will be laneways and arcades, a uniquely Melbourne retail offering, and new spaces that aim to bring people together.

“Gurrowa Place will enrich the traditional market offerings Melburnians and visitors know and love – attracting thousands of new residents, workers and visitors and boosting business for traders,” says Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

Gurrowa Place

Artist’s interpretation of the three towers that will make up Gurrowa Place. Image: City of Melbourne

To ensure no loss of parking, a new underground car park will provide 220 spaces for market customers, and 300 spaces on weekends. This is in addition to the 500 spaces already open in the Munro development.

The development is City of Melbourne’s most significant partnership with the private sector. It aims to ensure the market is at the forefront of the nation’s tourism offering for decades to come.

Market Square

City of Melbourne will also create a new Market Square for the city – unlocking one of the largest open spaces in the CBD. The 1.8 hectare ‘people’s park’, to be built by Lendlease, hopes to become a magnet for residents, locals and visitors.

In consultation with Traditional Owners, Gurrowa Place will pay tribute to the site’s history. Gurrowa means place of exchange or interchange, reflecting the purpose of the market.

“The creation of Gurrowa Place begins the next chapter in the evolution of Queen Victoria Market. It will celebrate the rich history of the place, while introducing new spaces for the community and a vibrant precinct that welcomes locals and visitors,” says Lendlease managing director of development Tom Mackellar.

Gurrowa Place

Artist’s interpretation of Gurrowa Place. Image: City of Melbourne

Lendlease has worked with NH Architecture, Kerstin Thompson Architects, 3XN Australia and Searle x Waldron Architecture, in conjunction with Openwork and McGregor Coxall, to conceptualise the proposed development scheme for the site.

City of Melbourne says the site will set a new benchmark for sustainability. It will create a precinct rich in biodiversity, while targeting Carbon Neutral Precinct Certification and 5 and 6 Star Green Star ratings.

Construction of the Southern Precinct is set to commence in early 2024 and be delivered in stages over the next five years. ​

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