European-style redevelopment planned for cosmopolitan new Belconnen Markets

Ian Bushnell 3 February 2020 37
New market hall

An artist’s impression of the new market hall from Market Street, Belconnen. Images: Elanor Investors Group.

The owner of Belconnen Markets has unveiled plans to inject a sense of Paris or Madrid into the reimagining of the precinct, with a European-style market hall revealed as part of its $100 million redevelopment.

“In Europe, what you see is retrofitted old buildings incorporated into existing market precincts,” Elanor Investors Group co-head of real estate Michael Baliva said.

“Similar to what you see in Melbourne, we don’t want to create an environment that feels like a shopping centre: artificially lit and ventilated.”

Landmark architecture, open spaces, extended trading hours, and nighttime restaurant and bar options will ideally invigorate the area.

“Our vision is to transform the Belconnen Markets precinct into a vibrant day-night destination for Canberra residents and its visitors to provide a unique experience not available elsewhere in the ACT or NSW,” Mr Baliva said.

European style market hall

An internal view of the proposed European style market hall.

Stage 1 construction on a three-hectare site opposite Bunnings Warehouse is due to begin this month, with half of the 3750 square metre development already leased to national retailers including Chemist Warehouse, Petbarn, Toyworld and the Elements 4 Life gymnasium chain.

Stage 1 will also have 112 street and basement car parks. It is due to be completed in October.

The development application for Stage 2 is expected to be available for public comment this week.

Construction of the second phase will see Elanor relocate traders to temporary premises it is providing in and around the old Petbarn building.

Mr Baliva said traders were obviously concerned about any disruptions in the short term but were generally looking forward to being in a brand new facility in a broadening catchment and trading area.

A closer view of the hall

A closer view of the hall from Market Street.

Elanor is aiming to create a landmark building that will be seen from Belconnen Way, with the tall, high-roof market hall set on a basement car park for 190 vehicles.

The 4300 square metre market hall, 1500 square metres more than at present, will use natural light and ventilation.

A 100 square metre park will also replace the existing play area.

“We want it to be a natural feeling environment, with open spaces where people can take their meals or produce and eat it out in the park outside the market hall.”

New public space

What the new public space and play area will look like.

Mr Baliva said in Europe fresh food was increasingly complemented by dining options to create a more wholistic experience.

The markets will move to seven-day trading and extend opening hours into the evening to attract those looking to dine as well as shop.

“We have a lot of loyal customers at the markets but we want to extend the reach to incorporate people who are looking for dining options and attract people who live in apartments who may not cook at home regularly,” he said.

With Belconnen’s population density growing, especially in student numbers, Elanor hopes to attract a younger, broader demographic while looking after the loyal customer base.

Construction on Stage 2 is expected to start later in the year with completion due in late 2021.

The sites of the temporary premises and additional car parking are earmarked for further development stages.

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37 Responses to European-style redevelopment planned for cosmopolitan new Belconnen Markets
Nancy Harrison Nancy Harrison 6:24 pm 04 Feb 20

I want to know how 'natural ventilation and lighting' is going to work with Canberra's extreme (40+ degree summers and -10 degree winters) weather!

And with night time trade expected seven days a week...stallholders will be expected to work phenominal hours (currently businesses must be trading between 8am and of 50 hours over a 5 day week).

What made the Markets unique were individual independent retailers that provided products that were different to the everyday, larger retailers. We have already lost some very special businesses that may never return to Belconnen.

Catherine Hunt Catherine Hunt 10:32 am 04 Feb 20

And shouldn't you therefore do this in the Melbourne or Sydney buildings? There's nothing old to retrofit at Belco markets.

Catherine Hunt Catherine Hunt 10:29 am 04 Feb 20

What is European style?

Kent Prior Kent Prior 7:45 pm 03 Feb 20

Natasha Prior Hancock Ann Prior This will be about a 5 min walk from our place

Hakim KookyPlum Hakim KookyPlum 4:27 pm 03 Feb 20

This is not Europe nor is it Melbourne, we just want a good local markets. Its basically Westfield 2.0. Too much to ask for?

Anita van Bijsterveld Anita van Bijsterveld 7:19 pm 02 Feb 20

A $100 million redevelopment means the consumer will have to pay top dollar for some fruit & veg!

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:55 pm 02 Feb 20

    Anita van Bijsterveld $100m includes stage 1 which isn’t for fruit and veg.

    And what’s the option? The current market building is really tired and needs replacing.

    Anita van Bijsterveld Anita van Bijsterveld 9:59 pm 02 Feb 20

    The owner will no doubt charge a high rent to shops who will then pass on that price to consumers. Belco needs affordable shops, not some fancy looking development.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 7:15 pm 02 Feb 20

If there’s going to be a European influence in Canberra, it should be put into practice with buildings which cope well with an increasingly Mediterranean (at the severe end of the scale) climate, with the least possible reliance on air-conditioning in summer.

Flick Szewczenko Flick Szewczenko 3:46 pm 02 Feb 20

The owner of the Belconnen Markets have been forcing people to relocate their shops against their will, increasing the rent to be unaffordable for most owners forcing them to move and close down shops AND the temporary rellocation of the shops for this "facelift" is putting tremendous amounts of stress and pressure on the small business owners because they can't afford the relocation costs and they will lose too much traffic during the renovations.

Just big corporations making it hard on the small businesses.

Why are we supporting this???

Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 3:03 pm 02 Feb 20

Well it was old and tired and damaged by hail. As long as the rents don't increase all is good.

Colin Penfold Colin Penfold 2:24 pm 02 Feb 20

Rob Bruce hipster upmarket dosn’t work for that space me thinks. You can’t Canberra and turn into Europe

    Rob Bruce Rob Bruce 2:32 pm 02 Feb 20

    Colin Penfold will there be enough hipster public servants who want the whole “experience”?

    Only time will tell...

Steve Marshall Steve Marshall 12:21 pm 02 Feb 20

They're gonna kill it - it's not a facelift, it's a complete redesign! Right now it's practical, cheap, and friendly. By the time they're done with it it will be useless, hipster-y and alienating. The main customer base right now is pensioners and low-middle income families, the owners want it to become an upmarket euro-style farmers market. Most of the current tenants hate the idea, several have already moved or sold their businesses and many more are worried about their futures.

Arthur Arthur 10:47 am 02 Feb 20

A sense of Paris and Madrid … unemployment and riots … good move. Meanwhile the architecture looks like the same old tin shed kitsch.

Gypsy Jade Gypsy Jade 8:13 am 02 Feb 20

Nick Kershaw possible Belco Markets facelift?

Anna Kay Anna Kay 8:17 pm 01 Feb 20

The application has still not been approved. We've been waiting years for this. It's not gonna happen.

Warren Morris Warren Morris 8:08 pm 01 Feb 20

Helen McCarthy

The Belconnen markets are getting a bit of a facelift!!

    Helen McCarthy Helen McCarthy 2:17 pm 02 Feb 20

    Warren Morris Doesn't sound as if it's too popular thpugh

Barkat Murtaja Mustafa Dipu Barkat Murtaja Mustafa Dipu 7:29 pm 01 Feb 20

We need local fruit and vegetables shops and not another mega shopping centre with exuberant rent.

    Margaret Blood Margaret Blood 8:01 pm 01 Feb 20

    Exorbitant, but we get your drift and agree.

    Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 8:28 pm 01 Feb 20

    As I understand it the rent was shot from confetti cannons with fireworks and a cheers squad.

    Nancy Harrison Nancy Harrison 6:12 pm 04 Feb 20

    Barkat Murtaja Mustafa Dipu ... my rent at the Markets was much higher per square metre than any other location I looked at in Canberra...and that has been the case for the last 7 years!

    Barkat Murtaja Mustafa Dipu Barkat Murtaja Mustafa Dipu 1:12 am 05 Feb 20

    I suspected that Nancy. Canberra needs an alternative to these super expensive markets and shopping centres

Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 6:42 pm 01 Feb 20

Why not build more hospital or new facilities for the homeless instead of more shopping centre, we, have enough of those to come out of our ears!!

    Anna Kay Anna Kay 8:16 pm 01 Feb 20

    Frank Trapani and what about the 20 odd businesses in there currently?

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 8:31 pm 01 Feb 20

    Anna Kay, are you compare 20 odd business with the numbers of homelessness and hospital benefits? I have my own suggestion for the potential business owners, relocate elsewhere.

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 9:15 pm 01 Feb 20

    Brendan Rocha. Thank you, for your courteous answer. I understand why it cannot be used for any other purpose..And it makes sense now.

    Neenie Baines Neenie Baines 10:55 pm 01 Feb 20

    Frank Trapani because the owner is a private company? 🤦‍♀️

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 11:10 pm 01 Feb 20

    Neenie Baines, thank you. I got that. And I wish them well in a very overcrowded competitive market. Perhaps, I was just thinking for a better way to spend money but, not realising that it was a private company..But, it's all good now that Brendan Rocha has been kind enough to make me see my mistake..Case closed.😂😂

    Jim Jim Jim Jim 9:54 am 02 Feb 20

    Frank Trapani that’s up to our local government not a private entity. I don’t disagree with your sentiment especially with the increased levels of homelessness.

    Jim Jim Jim Jim 9:58 am 02 Feb 20

    Frank Trapani no frank definitely not case closed. Only for the site of development but you are bang on about the need for improving hospitals and especially facilities for the homeless. More needs to be done.

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 10:39 am 02 Feb 20

    Jim Hosie. I Believe that in Australia and all over the world there's a crying out for help from worldwide child poverty, homelessness, child abuse, shortage of food and shortage of water; Shortage of sanitary care and medicines. However, unemployment and exploitation by corporate profits and the world bank greedy and insatiable appetite for continued profits does Not coming to an end. On top of all of this; have to mention the possibility of nuclear war and environmental catastrophe - and we're hurtling towards them. Knowingly.

    The lists of the world injustice and apathy is endless. But, for many people it's a matter of introducing a flooding of distraction so, they can keep their distance from the world crises and focus on the next piece of technology to be introduced and another new gadget to play with..All this can be stopped by uniting the silent voices and speak up louder and louder on behalf of the needy. Also, make a very strong representation during every election time and make your vote count..I am just one voice, where's the rest of you??

    Robyn Holder Robyn Holder 3:24 pm 02 Feb 20

    Frank Trapani market owners don't build hospitals.

    Frank Trapani Frank Trapani 4:49 pm 02 Feb 20

    Robyn Holder. why didn't I think of that.

Ben Roberts Ben Roberts 6:09 pm 01 Feb 20

Yeah right. How long have they been owners of the hole in the ground? Believe it if you see it.

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