Salta and Victor Smorgon Group celebrate the opening of Walmer Plaza


Salta and joint venture partner Victor Smorgon Group (VSG) have reached a significant milestone in their three decade-long commitment to creating a revitalised, vibrant and connected community in the inner-city neighbourhoods of Richmond and Abbotsford.

Today’s event marked the completion of Walmer Plaza and official reopening of the Walmer Street Bridge, which together are key public realm contributions and deliver a significant piece of civic infrastructure for the wider 17ha Victoria Gardens precinct.

The delivery of Walmer Plaza and the southern section of the Walmer Street Bridge now seamlessly connects the vibrancy of Victoria Street and tranquillity of the Yarra River corridor, creating a new place where residents, pedestrians, cyclists and the wider community can meet, interact and enjoy.

Salta and Victor Smorgon Group’s $5 million investment in the renewed plaza and land bridge include a new extended switchback to improve traffic flow and a sturdier base that offers safer and wider access to the thousands of pedestrians and cyclists that pass through the area. The project was delivered with building contractor Minicon, who managed the construction safely while ensuring a high-quality outcome for Salta, VSG and the local community.

Importantly, the reopening of the Walmer Street Bridge and southern landing provides a vital access point across the Yarra River, and reconnects the City of Yarra with the City of Boorandara.

Walmer Plaza will feature an array of retail and hospitality options for local residents and visitors, with French inspired café Bon Matin creating a warm and welcoming experience that features outdoor terrace seating overlooking the Yarra River.

The opening event was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Salta Founding Director Sam Tarascio Snr, Salta Managing Director Sam Tarascio, Victor Smorgon Group Marketing Director Sarah Mitchell, Bicycle Network President James Garriock, key project stakeholders, business partners, local community members and residents of neighbouring apartment buildings Walmer and Parkhouse, both projects delivered by Salta.

The event was also celebrated with a traditional Yidaki performance and Acknowledgement of Country by First Nations performer and Gamillaroi man Ben Moodie.

Salta Managing Director Sam Tarascio said the company is excited about the opportunities Walmer Plaza brings to the community.

“This space is more than just a plaza; it’s a place for community connection and engagement, and a symbol of our long-term commitment to delivering urban revitalisation and placemaking in the area.

“Salta’s presence in Richmond and Abbotsford dates back more than 30 years. It has been fantastic to see the evolution of the area and how significant investment into community assets like Walmer Plaza and the Walmer Street Bridge has helped to realise the potential we saw all those years ago.

Our early vision for the precinct has always been to deliver a revitalised, connected and engaged community. Over three decades, it’s really pleasing to see the area become a desirable destination that supports a wider community ecosystem with places to live, shop, work and socialise only three kilometres from Melbourne CBD

Sam Tarascio, Managing Director

Salta purchased the former industrial land in 1993 and has since transformed Victoria Street, Burnley Street and the surrounding areas into a bustling mixed-use precinct. Major developments led by Salta include the top performing retail centre Victoria Gardens, co-owned with Vicinity, 31,000sqm of commercial spaces across 3 buildings, 17 high-quality residential buildings that have created over 1,800 homes, and upgraded transport infrastructure such as a designated tram stop offering direct access to the CBD and eastern suburbs.

Salta now enters the next phase of its urban renewal in the area which will see neighbouring precincts transformed into a sustainable urban village. Under its recently announced build-to-rent platform Est., the Victoria Gardens precinct is set to deliver a further 1,720 rental apartments, along with a major extension to the retail centre, adding even more amenity for residents and the local community.

Posted 28 March 2024