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A glance at Southbank’s new park

05 Jun 2017

A glance at Southbank’s new park Image

By Meg Hill

Southbank’s open space deficit is soon to be improved with a European-style public park included in the first stage of OSK Property’s Melbourne Square project on Kavanagh St.

The developer released the first renders of the park last month, with constructions work to get underway next month.

The project will turn a barren car park bounded by the Westgate Freeway and Kavanagh, Balston and Power streets into Melbourne’s largest mixed-use development.

Melbourne Square was approved by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning late last year and has recently had its stage one designs approved.

Almost 4000 sqm is designated to the park space, which will include water features, piazza-style spaces and an outdoor terrace.

“We believe this public realm will draw people from all over Southbank and provide an important linkage from the CBD through the arts precinct to the Botanic Gardens,” executive chairman of OSK Property Tan Sri Ong said.

OSK’s complete project spans six towers, including four luxury apartment buildings, a commercial tower and a hotel as well supermarket, childcare and health spaces.

OSK has partnered with renowned Australian landscape architects Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL), known for its award-winning work, including Birrarung Marr and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

“Melbourne Square’s dynamic public realm will be a centrepiece for Southbank, one that can be actively programmed for events, or enjoyed at leisure,” TCL managing director Perry Lethlean said.

Melbourne Square adds to the open space soon to be created through the City of Melbourne’s Southbank Boulevard linear and Boyd Community Hub parks.

Work on the Southbank Boulevard Park is set to begin late this year, adding 25,000 sqm of space with an open market value of around $140 million.

The City of Melbourne is still working through community engagement processes in planning for the park on the Boyd Community Hub site.

Southbank Residents Association (SRA) president Tony Penna said while the development presented real opportunities for Southbank, he was disappointed by the developer’s decision to change the project’s name.

“Recently we note the name has changed from Kavanagh Park to Melbourne Square,” he said. “If this is the case, SRA suspect it is for marketing appeal to the overseas investors who can connect with the name Melbourne Square but maybe not with Kavanagh Park.”

“Such a change, although only in a name, detracts from that psychological connection with being local. SRA is disappointed with the name change.”

How do you think the new park looks? Send your thoughts to: news@southbanklocalnews.com.au

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