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Central Market Arcade's $400 million redevelopment

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A 35-storey tower with a hotel, apartments and offices will be built above a redeveloped Adelaide Central Market Arcade as part of a $400 million project unveiled today.

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Adelaide-based global architecture firm Woods Bagot won the contract to produce the designs, which revive grand red-brick arches – sympathetic to the former Grote Street façade that was partially demolished in the 1960s – and feature podium roof terraces and a new social and commercial precinct.

The Adelaide City Council will retain ownership of the retail and public spaces, with developers ICD Property and Nanshen Singapore to own and manage the central tower.

The tower will be one of Adelaide’s tallest buildings, standing just short of the 135m-tall, 37-storey Adelaidean development under construction on Frome Street and the 39-storey hotel development approved for the corner of King William and Currie streets.

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor described the launch of the project as “a defining moment in the Adelaide CBD’s history” that would “set the market up as a key destination for at least the next half century”.

She said the project was expected to increase the number of visitors to the Adelaide Central Market from nine million each year to 10 million.

“This is a very exciting day for the city – we’ve really paid great attention to the future that both the legacy and the future that we want and this is all about building Adelaide as the go-to destination,” she told reporters this morning.

“To have residential and hotel and office accommodation right there in the heart of our city, connected to our iconic central market and our market plaza is only going to benefit our city.

“This is going to be an international destination.”

Project design leader Alex Hall of Woods Bagot said: “This is a design exploration of the market’s heritage beyond just a façade treatment and makes its brick arches – which have always been emblematic of the market – part of the whole experience.”

The council hopes to begin demolition of the existing Central Market Arcade in May next year – a delay from the original target of September this year, which the council says was to allow the 61 traders currently operating in the arcade the opportunity to earn over the busy Christmas trading period.

Each of the traders will have to negotiate with the council if they wish to re-enter the market arcade after the development.

A Woods Bagot rendering of the redeveloped Central Market Arcade.

With the contract now signed, the council and the developers will have to present the project through the State Commission Assessment Panel for approval.

A spokesperson for the city council said it would contribute $28 million towards the project, with the developers funding the balance.

But city councillor Phil Martin disputed the $28 million figure, although he said he was legally prevented from saying more publicly.

“I am gagged, but I can tell you $28 million dollars isn’t correct,” he told InDaily.

The Central Market itself will not be renovated as part of the project.

ICD Property managing director Matt Khoo told reporters the development would use world’s best practise construction techniques to minimise the impact on the adjacent market traders.

But the Adelaide Central Market Authority warned last month that the construction would likely have a large impact on central market traders.

Last month, ACMA chair Nick Begakis told a council committee meeting the market would require extra financial assistance from the council during construction.

He said 260 fewer car parks would be available for customers during that period.

“One of our directors manages the arcade … the Adelaide Arcade, and he says that trade is going down about 45 per cent,” he told the committee.

“We are already having, or have had, conversations with administration about how we can strengthen the traders for what is probably going to be three years of construction and disruption and how we can bolster their trade.

“It’s going to be difficult.”

A Woods Bagot rendering of the redeveloped Central Market Arcade.

Verschoor said she did not know whether the council would be providing any extra funding to the Adelaide Central Market Authority to help bolster trade during the construction period – any new funding would have to go through the council’s usual budget processes.

But she said the council was working with current market arcade traders to help them relocate to a different tenancy, and supporting the central market traders by ensuring no net loss of car parking by opening up the old bus station site on Grote Street during the construction period.

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