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Hoardings up on Riverside Square

13 Jul 2017

Hoardings up on Riverside Square Image

Stage one of the Riverside Quay renewal project is already underway, despite members of its appointed community reference group claiming that final plans were adopted without their knowledge.

In partnership with the City of Melbourne, developer Mirvac first undertook community consultation with its reference group in early 2015.

The group was appointed to inform the design of the new public open space. It featured local residents and businesspeople, as well as representatives from the Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) and the Yarra River Business Association (YRBA).

However, much to the surprise of the reference group members, hoardings went up around the space in May featuring finished renders of the how the revitalised open space will appear.

In a July 11 press release, Mirvac said its community reference group guided the direction of the public space, to be known as Riverside Square, through the design process.

While the final outcome is an overall positive one, some members of the working group told Southbank Local News that they felt frustrated by Mirvac’s lack of consultation on the finished plans.

Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) president Tony Penna said communication over the project had been scarce.

“The project was supported by SRA after consultation with the developer early 2015,” he said. “SRA continued to work with the developer via the community working group to achieve what we believe will be an excellent outcome for the space.”

“Unfortunately, towards the end of the process we were left feeling forgotten about by the developer as communication was scarce.”

Despite the poor consultation, Mr Penna said he was looking forward to working with the City of Melbourne for stage two of the project, which extends from Eureka Tower to Southbank Promenade.

Mirvac’s final park design, which incorporates the section of land directly in front of its Riverside Quay office buildings opposite the Belgian Beer Cafe, includes 1200 sqm of new landscaping, outdoor working areas, communal facilities and seating.

While the space is owned by the City of Melbourne, Mirvac has funded stage one. Mirvac spokesperson Campbell Hanan said the new park was a great extension of its development.

“We’re extremely proud to have co-created a vision for the space with the community and the City of Melbourne,” he said.

“The importance of green open space in our cities is vital. Riverside Square is set to become a buzzing space activated by local workers and residents during the work week, in the evening and on the weekend.”

Riverside Square is due for completion in October.

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