Multi-storey residential developments are set to expand to the northern edge of the Melbourne CBD as the council pushes for zoning changes around the Queen Victoria market.

Proposed amendments to zoning restrictions in the immediate vicinity of the Queen Victoria market promise to dramatically change the face of the Melbourne CBD’s northern periphery.

As part of its $250 million overhaul of the Queen Victoria market, Town Hall hopes to significantly alter planning controls in the area, with changes including the to removal of height restrictions and introduction of mixed-use developments.

The changes could cause the value of the two sites that the council owns in the area to increase in value to as much as half a billion dollars.

Town Hall’s approximately 6,500 square metre Munro property, situated directly opposite the market itself, could rise by 25 per cent in value as a result of changes in the area. The land value of the site alone could is expected to surge past the $100 million threshold.

In addition to the local council, as many as 30 other property owners in the area could benefit from the development potential unlocked by the zoning alterations.

The biggest impact of the proposed changes is likely to be the removal of height restrictions, which will pave the way for high-rise residential developments in the northern part of the CBD following their proliferation in other parts of the city.

Melbourne’s downtown area is already host to a welter of multi-storey apartment developments as parts of efforts to provide greater housing options to CBD workers.

According to a recent report by Leanne Hodyl for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, this spate of high-rise residential construction has put central Melbourne on track to become the one of the world’s most densely populated cities, ahead of Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York.

Within the vicinity of the Queen Victoria Market, the top of Elizabeth Street and much of Franklin Street are already seeing a raft of residential building projects.

The $250 million overhaul of the market will be largest investment in the history of the council, and has been touted by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle as “creating one of the great economic drivers of our city” for years to come.