Built in 1858 and originally known as the Victorian Brewery, the building eventually became the site of Australia’s most famous jam maker, IXL, a role it kept until the 1970s, when it was transformed into a shopping centre. 

Situated in Melbourne’s shopping Mecca of Chapel Street in South Yarra, the Jam Factory complex owner Newmark Capital has submitted a DA that would turn it into a 15-storey mixed-use precinct spread over 50,000sqm of retail, cinemas and dining space with a network of laneways connected to a central plaza, all at a total cost of $416 million.

Developed by Bates Smart and the UKs Leonard Design Architects, according to joint managing directors of Newmark Capital, Chris Langford and Simon Morris, the new proposal is focussed to both revitalise the Jam Factory after the previous owners launched a failed $700 million refurbishment bid, and at the same time, ensure the local community remains at its core.

“As long-term locals ourselves, our desire is to restore the status of the Jam Factory and Chapel Street, with authenticity, creativity, and community at its core,” Langford says.

“Our vision is to revitalise the Jam Factory, while respecting and celebrating its rich character and history.”

“One of the ways we are opening up the site is by reinstating the laneways that originally ran through the Jam Factory, similar to that when the site was occupied by the Red Cross Preserving Company.

They’ve all been enclosed and built over, but we want to reopen them to the surrounding streets,” he says.

Morris says that, subject to planning approval, the new Jam Factory will be a destination that will reignite the local economy.

“As a catalyst project, the new Jam Factory will provide the amenity the community is seeking and a significant boost to Melbourne’s economy by attracting new business as well as local, interstate and overseas visitors, workers and shoppers,” he says.

According to the directors, should Stonnington council approve the proposal, it would be completed by 2020.