A Docklands Car Park Is Being Converted Into a New Melbourne Market Precinct

Originally written for Broadsheet.

Construction began on a new market hall in the Docklands on Tuesday, as part of a $150 million redevelopment of The District shopping, entertainment and dining precinct.

Simply named The Market, the new shopping destination will see the ground floor and mezzanine of a seven-level car park converted into a market space housing 25 speciality retailers.

Publicity material from The Market’s developer, AsheMorgan, says the inspiration for the location comes from the internationally renowned Chelsea Market in New York’s Meatpacking neighbourhood. Although a car park in the Docklands is a far cry from a converted 1800s biscuit factory, AsheMorgan principal Alton Abrahams explains that Chelsea Market reference refers to the concept of “retro-fitting a market into an existing structure”.

AsheMorgan has enlisted NH Architecture and Esquisse Design Studio director Allan Stevens, who previously worked on the Tramsheds development in Sydney, for The Market’s design.

“We’ve asked them to really focus on making it feel like exactly what it is which is not a brand-new white-tiled shopping centre,” Abrahams tells Broadsheet. “It’s a market hall in an existing structure with the different textures and different feelings that brings.”

“We’re allowing the traders to trade out into the mall and really sort of give it a market feel,” he adds.

Blender Studios, a Melbourne street-art group, will produce artwork for the space, which will feature raw and treated timber, reclaimed wood, concrete rendering and exposed brick.

One area, called Artisan Lane, will be home to delis, bakeries, coffee roasters, butchers and cafes. The precinct, which is accessible from the District Dockland’s main building through a pedestrian walkway, will also house a Woolworths supermarket, Dan Murphy’s, Priceline Pharmacy and an Asian grocer.

The Market is expected to open in July, 2019.

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