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A Prahran carpark is being transformed into a huge urban oasis

Rose Johnstone
Written by
Rose Johnstone

Can you recognise where this artist's impression is located? If you're a Prahran local, then the Dan Murphy's and Coles might be a giveaway – this clean, green urban oasis is currently the site of the huge Cato Street carpark just behind Chapel Street. 

That is, until 2019. Over the next two years, the City of Stonnington will transform the car park into Cato Square: an urban hub that will cover more than 9,000 square metres and include water features, gardens, lawns, a forest (yep, a forest!) and plenty of space for community events. The entire site is roughly the size of Fed Square, and the design is (according to the City of Stonnington) "modelled off some of the world's most famous urban plazas". Underneath the square will be an underground two-level parking centre. 

"The Cato Square project is the largest, most ambitious and exciting construction project ever delivered in the City of Stonnington," says City of Stonnington mayor Cr Jami Klisaris. 

The $60+ million development has been in the works for about ten years now. It is expected to begin later this year and take about 18 months.   

Cato Park artist's impression

Photograph: City of Stonnington

Currently, the City of Stonnington has the second-lowest amount of open space per capita in the state; and as its population continues to grow, Cato Square will hopefully provide some much-needed community space. 

For the next seven weeks, council will be consulting with local residents and business owners. "We welcome their input and are excited to share details of the important project," says Cr Klisaris. 

Find out more about Cato Square.

The Windsor end of Chapel Street is shaping up to be one of the hottest southside spots: here are the best places to go.

Speaking of big changes to our city, have you heard that the Victorian government is creating 17 new suburbs?

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