Queen Vic Market Towers gets approval


The Queen Victoria Market precinct is poised for a $1.7 billion makeover, thanks to a collaboration between Lendlease and Melbourne City Council.

This ambitious project, recently approved by Heritage Victoria, aims to transform an open-air car park into a bustling public square and three contemporary skyscrapers.

Scheduled to start early next year and slated for completion in 2028, the development will include 15% of affordable housing. The residential tower will predominantly feature 476 build-to-rent apartments, where the entire building is owned and managed by a single entity. This model offers a contemporary housing alternative to the traditional investment-driven approach.

The tallest of the three towers, designed by Scape, will be specifically designed for student housing. The 1100-bed facility will cater to the increasing demand for student accommodation in the city.

The project, which includes redirecting Franklin Street to enhance connectivity, required careful consideration of the area’s rich heritage, including its status as a cemetery from 1837 to 1917, thought to still contain around 6000 burials and the presence of heritage-listed buildings.

Lendlease is set to develop the public square, rejuvenate the heritage-listed Franklin Street stores into a modern “retail village,” construct a basement car park. The City of Melbourne will own and manage all these elements, enhancing the precinct’s cultural and community value.

WSce is engaged in designing hydraulic, fire, and civil engineering services for the residential and commercial towers, including the common basement and heritage stores within the Queen Vic Market Towers project. Our role encompassed navigating the complexities of integrating modern infrastructure with the heritage significance of the site, located near the historic Queen Victoria Markets and the site of Melbourne’s first cemetery.

The project blends Melbourne’s heritage with contemporary urban spaces, a challenge WSce navigated with expertise and sensitivity.

The approval from Heritage Victoria and the ongoing considerations of the Victorian Department of Transport and Planning are critical milestones in bringing this visionary project to fruition, with construction adherence to strict timelines to maintain the permit’s validity.

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