A pop-up park has been announced for a major Melbourne thoroughfare in lieu of the permanent park that is planned for the site.
The City of Melbourne has approved the site for a permanent public space, but plans for the park’s creation have now been delayed by 12 months due to the construction of a new office and retail tower nearby. The pop-up park, which will open on the corner of Elizabeth and Flinders Streets for three months over summer, has been announced as a temporary alternative, to be designed by the in-house design team at City of Melbourne.
“The decision to postpone construction of the permanent public space is based on maintaining pedestrian safety around construction activities and allowing this important development for our city to get underway,” said Melbourne’s lord mayor, Robert Doyle, in a press statement.
Once complete, the permanent park will contain trees, planter boxes, artificial turf and a variety of moveable furniture over 375 square metres in what council has called the “ugly duckling” section of Melbourne CBD. In addition to providing the roughly 9,300 pedestrians during morning peak hour with extra public space, the eventual park is an attempt to brighten up the eastern end of Elizabeth Street, which has become synonymous with littering and complaints from local shop owners.
The development that has caused the delay of the permanent park is a $40-million, five-storey tower by Sydney-based developer Fivex, which will be erected on a former bank site. The development will add approximately 4,000 square metres of “much needed” office space to the area, contained in a building to be constructed predominantly from lightweight steel and timber.
The $2.2-million permanent park now has an estimated completion date of 2019. In the meantime, the pop-up park will be open from December 2017 until February 2018.