Join People For Preston Market
Darebin Council's behaviour in respect to the Market's future has been nothing less than a disaster for Preston.
Because no decisions have been made about the future of the area and because Darebin Council is so secretive about its planning decisions, it is necessary to ensure that the Council elections due to take place in October 2016 ensure that different councillors are elected who do not belong to the major parties which are uncooperative, unhelpful and ensure that no residents get positive help from the Council over problematic planning decisions.
We would urge as many people as possible to attend the two meetings and demonstrations planned in order to show our displeasure at the way the Market owners and Darebin Council have handled the public over the Market's future.
The banner below was made for the "Photo Bomb" - photoshoot at Preston Market at midday on Saturday 17 September 2016.
We estimate that about 50 people were present for the above demo outside one entrance to the Market.
The next two photos were taken with the above banner being used to draw people's attention to the problems being confronted by the stallholders and those of us who are regulars at the Market.
Poster by Kendall Lovett, photos by Mannie De Saxe and Marian De Saxe at Preston Market photo shoot on 17 SEPTEMBER 2016.
Salta Properties and Medich Corporation, who jointly own the 45-year-old fresh food market, will begin work on upgrading the fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry and fish halls in October.
The upgrade is the first stage of a planned $550 million makeover of the thriving, multicultural market that includes plans for 1500 homes in towers up to 28 storeys high.
The project's controversial second and third stages, which include multi-storey car parks and high-rise buildings, have stalled in the planning process after they were rejected by the local council.
Salta's director Sam Tarascio said the market had remained largely untouched since the 1970s and was due for an upgrade.
"A key focus of the works is the introduction of a range of environmental and sustainability initiatives," he said.
Manny Spiteri, a leasing advocate representing the market's 150 traders, described the work as a " facelift to placate the council".
Mr Spiteri said the market's owners had failed to properly consult with market traders.
"You're the first one to tell us. Wouldn't you think they would consult the traders?" he said. "We don't know when it's going to happen, how it's going to happen."
The market's owners face stiff opposition from local residents, with a push by Darebin Progress Association for a public meeting to voice concerns.
"We don't want it sanitised. We want the amenity of the market, it's multicultural aspects preserved," organisation secretary Marion Harper said. "It's a cultural hub. It's a way of life that's disappearing."
Passionate shoppers, protective of Melbourne's old-style traditional undercover markets, have levelled similar criticism at the City of Melbourne's multi-million dollar makeover of the Queen Victoria Market.
Mr Tarascio said traders knew the changes were coming and would be briefed next week.
The Preston Market will remain open while it undergoes the revamp which has been designed by NH Architecture and Breathe Architecture, he said.
From Leader newspapers:
Preston Market traders forced to close as $4m million ’facelift’ begins
The makeover would add 60 retail jobs and include upgrades to the Fruit and Vegetable block and Meat, Poultry and Fish Hall, new children’s play spaces and sustainability improvements.
Works are to begin next month.
But Preston Leader discovered at least three traders had been issued with notices of lease terminations ahead of the planned works, while one had started legal proceedings against the owners.
Leader spoke to stallholders at the market who revealed some had been issued with notices of termination, while others were on month-by-month ‘holding over’ lease arrangements.
Salta Properties managing director Sam Tarascio last week said he was “not in a position to discuss commercial in confidence matters regarding individual traders”.
Enzo Seconnino, who has run Patricia Fabrics at the market for more than 40 years, said he received a notice of termination, and would be forced to close his shop for the final time on September 12.
“It’s not a very nice way to go, you’d think that after so many years I’d be part of the fabric of the market,” he said.
Mr Seconnino said the owners had suggested they would relocate him, but had so far given him nothing in writing.
PEOPLE FOR PRESTON MARKET PUT NEW VISION ON TABLE
Preston Market Traders advocate Manny Spiteri said the renewal works were “a facelift” to placate traders who were at “breaking point”, fearing their tenancies could be terminated.
Mr Spiteri claimed four stallholders’ leases had been terminated, with two stallholders launching legal action against the owners and about eight considering legal action.
Darebin Progress Association spokeswoman Marion Harper said local community groups are working to form a Save Preston Market group, and were planning a community meeting.
The $4 million revamp is the first stage of a planned $550 million redevelopment of the market.
Darebin Council has twice rejected planning scheme amendments, including one which would have paved the way for a 28-storey apartment tower on the site.
Mr Tarascio last week could not guarantee stallholders would not lose their jobs as part of the $550 million redevelopment.
“Like any retail project, we continue to work closely with the traders regarding any new leases and this is ongoing at Preston Market,” Mr Tarascio said.
MARKET LAUNCHES NEW ARTS PRECINCT
“As with all markets, stall holders do change from time to time.”
He said the upgrades would be done to the include the installation of solar panels, on-site waste treatment.
The $4 million Preston Market revamp will include:
— Sustainability improvements, including solar panels, on-site waste treatment, recycling improvements and new technologies that will reduce the carbon footprint of the market.
— Upgrades to existing buildings and public spaces, including kids play areas and landscaping
— Works to provide space for more artists and designers at PAM Lane.
— General enhancements, including parent rooms, public walkways, a new customer service centre and improved public amenities.