The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is recognised as an architectural and economic triumph.
Developed to increase Melbourne’s business tourism market, the project facilitated the urban renewal of a former industrial site into an active tourism, mixed-use retail, hotel, residential and food-and-beverage precinct.
It remains one of the finest examples of value-capture in global PPP infrastructure markets, attracting a more than $1 billion investment in a five-star quality hotel and a mixed-use development of more than 100,000 square metres.
With a 6 Star Green Star Design rating it is also one of the greenest convention centres in the world.
In mid-2016 Plenary, in partnership with the Victorian Government and private partners, commenced a more than $300 million expansion of the broader South Wharf precinct.
The project includes a 20,000-square-metre expansion of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, a new 347-room, four-star quality hotel and a new 1,150-space multi-level car park.
When completed in 2018 the expansion will increase MCEC’s total size to more than 70,000 square metres, ensuring it remains the leading destination for business tourism and events in Australia.
Local economic impact
Up to 1,300 people worked on site during construction of Melbourne Convention Centre.
More than 1,500 new permanent jobs have since been created by the private sector investment in the mixed-use retail, office, hotel, residential and food and beverage precinct.
Around 700 people are being employed during construction of the expansion, which will also see tens of millions of dollars of work generated for Victorian businesses and suppliers.
Once complete, the expanded precinct will add more than 900 ongoing jobs.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star Design rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, and gold certification by leading tourism certification group EarthCheck, setting the global standard for sustainable convention centre design.
FLEXIBILITY SEATING AND OPERABLE WALLS
A main feature of MCEC is its main hall, a flexible space that can be used as a 5,500 seat auditorium. The largest operable walls in the southern hemisphere and a unique retractable seating system allow the hall to be divided into three separate theatres, one with capacity for up to 2,500 people.
The hall is celebrated as a ‘building within a building’, wrapped by more than 16,000 square metres of foyer and event space, and banquet and meeting rooms.
Asset management innovations
Plenary’s operational model provides significant innovation through a unique risk-and-reward sharing mechanism between Plenary and Brookfield GIS.
This cost-effective but hands-on approach allows significant savings to be returned to the State while ensuring Plenary is heavily incentivised to maintain the asset to a high standard throughout its life.