For the Civic Hall Precinct the moment is now


Ron Egeberg

There are real opportunities for Ballarat with the proposed civic hall and surrounding precinct development decided by council last Wednesday night.  Although I must say I am disappointed the lower hall is being sacrificed to achieve this outcome.

Let me explain.

The proposed revamp of the civic hall and its surrounds presents two development opportunities: the first is essential community development through the transformation of the civic hall as a multipurpose space and the library becoming a 21st-century facility, projects that are council’s core business. The second is about council facilitating, as is also its role, the economic development of the remainder of the site through a mixture of government offices, commercial outlets and residential facilities.

A hotel could also be included if deemed sustainable and a multi-storey car park to serve the precinct and the CBD.. This precinct is where government investment should be focused, not at the rail station. This is where job creation would commence as we focus on a strategy to revitalise the CBD in general.

Given that council has stated that the redevelopment of the site will be $19 million, it needs to create a sound business plan. What is RDV’s involvement, considering it is quoted as being engaged in discussions in January?

The state government should be approached to partner with council to redevelop the site and organise a consortium of skilled architects to develop designs for the site which will capture the imagination of Ballarat and the state. There needs to be the will to make it happen, and the moment is now.

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This post was written by , posted on May 29, 2016 Sunday at 6:12 pm

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