South Wharf success: Expanded MCEC open for business
Published 08 July 2018
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - The expansion of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and broader South Wharf precinct is complete, marking the first expansion of an operating public-private partnership in Victoria.
The A$350 million project by the Victorian Government in partnership with Plenary and its private sector partners includes a 20,000-square-metre expansion of MCEC, the new 347-room Novotel Melbourne South Wharf and new 1,150-space multi-level car park.
It ensures MCEC remains Australia’s largest convention and exhibition space, and able to accommodate the growing global demand for multi-purpose meetings and events spaces for decades to come.
Acting Premier of Victoria James Merlino and Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren joined Plenary Chairman John O’Rourke, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust Chair John Brumby and MCEC Chief Executive Peter King today to tour the centre.
The expansion is fully-connected and integrated with the existing MCEC buildings and include 9,000 square metres of flexible expansion space, a 1,000-seat multi-purpose theatre and a gala banquet room.
Around 700 people were employed to work on this project, including up to 60 apprentices. Now completed, the expanded precinct will add more than 900 ongoing jobs.
Plenary Group Chairman John O’Rourke said the project will increase business and tourism activity in the precinct, ensuring it remains Australia’s number one business tourism and events destination.
“We planned for this expansion when designing the Melbourne Convention Centre a decade ago, so it is great to be finally realising what we envisioned,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“As long-term investors in the precinct, Plenary was perfectly placed to deliver the expansion, ensuring MCEC continued its success and that South Wharf remained a food, beverage and retail destination.”
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust Chair John Brumby said he was proud of the project and the benefits it will bring for MCEC’s customers, the City of Melbourne and the State of Victoria.
“A project like this involves a lot of different people and I think the success of this building is testament to the strong engagement among key stakeholders throughout planning and construction,” Mr Brumby said.
The Victorian Government provided A$205 million for the MCEC expansion, and Plenary and its partners invested more than A$150 million in the hotel and car park.
Plenary was the sponsor, investor and financial arranger for both the expansion project and the original 2009 Melbourne Convention Centre development, and plays a key role in the ongoing asset management of MCEC.
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