An artist's impression of the Preston Market redevelopment proposal.

An artist's impression of the Preston Market redevelopment proposal.

Preston Market, one of Melbourne's oldest traditional markets, is slated for a radical overhaul costed at half a billion dollars. 

Proposals to build 28-storey apartment blocks on the market site, comprising 1500 new dwellings, have been lodged with Darebin Council, seeking an exemption to the current 10-storey height limit in the area.

Developers Salta Properties and project partner Medich Corporation proposed changing building height limits in order to build residential towers "which will respond to the forecasted growth of the municipality, and will provide greater housing diversity and housing sustainability for the area", according to documents prepared for the council.

The development would include apartments.

The development would include apartments.

The plans for the Preston Market include a piazza, outdoor dining areas, and an office precinct as well as apartments to complement the current fresh food market. 

Construction costs for the renovations are estimated at 550 million, according to council documents – double the cost of all construction works undertaken across the City of Darebin in 2013.  

For more than 10 years, plans for redeveloping the market have been continually shelved but the latest request to amend 2007 plans suggests a renewed push for redevelopment.

Paul Crapper, Darebin City Council's director corporate and planning services confirmed the council had received a formal request to amend the Darebin Planning Scheme from a developer. The council will consider the application to change the height limit in early August.

Business owners in the market are sceptical that redevelopment plans will go ahead this time.

"We're in limbo at the moment. We don't know what's going on," said George Kolovos, who owns a fruit and vegetable shop.

Mr Kolovos supports redevelopment and describes the current market infrastructure as "too old".

"The market is over 40 years old. It needs to be spruced up," he said.

If the amendments are authorised, the community will have a one-month window to make submissions to the council.