The dilapidated Jam Factory centre in Chapel Street is set to become a new $1.25 billion retail and office complex as part of a comprehensive proposal to redevelop and revitalise the site.
Subject to planning approval, the site will be opened up with a network of laneways, a central public square, and seven separate office buildings housing up to 5000 workers.
Newmark Capital lodged plans with the City of Stonnington for the $450 million overhaul with an expected completion in 2020.
Newmark Joint managing directors Chris Langford and Simon Morris said that the proposal was the first step towards realising the company’s vision for the area.
“Our desire is to restore the status of the Jam Factory and Chapel Street, with authenticity, creativity, and community at its core,” Langford said.
“This site will be a district that encompasses the needs of the whole community."
The project will feature 50,000 square metres of retail, cinemas and dining with an active network of pedestrian laneways connected by a central plaza.
Morris said the new Jam Factory will be home to over 5,000 permanent full-time jobs.
“There is a real need for generating sustainable employment in the local area, as well as for building amenities for the existing and future visitors to the Jam Factory. We will make Jam Factory an asset to the community now and into the future; a place to work, shop, dine, or entertain,” Morris said.
The Jam Factory site is one with significant heritage, dating back to the 19th century. In 1876, the site was purchased by the Victorian Jam Co. and by 1880 was the largest employer in the Prahran area known locally as the Red Cross Preserving Co.
Because of the rich history running throughout the site, the developers plan to retain much of original brick, opting to restore and reinstate many of the original embellishments and fenestration details.
Modern features include an new exoskeleton expression and traditional sawtooth roof, deep, metallic bronze façade louvres and glass blocks.
In 1995, the Jam Factory underwent a redevelopment, including Village Cinemas and a new foodcourt. Finally, in 2013 further development was done on the site, updating the retail elements and modernising the precinct.
Designed by Bates Smart and Leonard Design Architects, the proposed design is based on the concept of an ensemble of buildings.
According to the proposal: "The volumes are grouped, yet individualised.""The network of streets, lanes and central courtyard emphasises the creation of a precinct that is consistent in its material palette, yet allows for individualised volumes and moments.
"The original character of the existing building envelope is key to the proposed design.
"The aim is to retain, re-establish and complement the original character [...] delivering a vibrant new activity area and a key opportunity of the development."
Construction is set to create 1,000 jobs during redevelopment and 5,000 jobs will be in place once the precinct is complete.