The Queen Victoria Market will receive a major upgrade that will create thousands of jobs, attract more visitors and transform it into the Federation Square of the city’s north.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the renewal project could take a decade and cost up to $250 million.
The state government will transfer land at the southern end of the market to the City of Melbourne, which will extend the market.
A mixed-use commercial development will be built on the transferred land, which will pay for the market renovation.
An underground car park and a 1.3 hectare park will be built as part of the redevelopment, which was announced on Thursday morning.
The City of Melbourne would seek UNESCO World Heritage listing for the market after the renewal project.
Premier Denis Napthine said the heritage, vibrancy and atmosphere of the market would be retained.
“You will get better car-parking access, better street access and a better atmosphere and retain the heritage of the market,” he said.
He said it was vital that the market had the facilities to cope with the growing numbers of visitors, which is expected to total 17 million this year.
Mr Doyle said the upgrade would create 9000 jobs at the market, 12,000 jobs in the surrounding area and thousands of construction jobs.
“Since Federation Square there hasn’t been a civic or a community project like this. And just as Federation Square became, at that end of the city, one of the great meeting points for people, I see the Queen Victorian Market in its completed iteration being like the Fed Square of the north of the city,” he said.
About 6000 bodies are buried underneath the market’s car park, which was once part of the Old Melbourne Cemetery.
“I do not see disturbing those bodies as a part of this project,” Mr Doyle said.
He said there would be a thorough consultation process.
Reinvent Your Career would like to thank The Age where this article first appeared.