Developers file plans for $11million multi-story building on unassuming Ballarat side street

Plans have been filed with the City of Ballarat to construct a six-storey mixed-use building on a small one-way street dominated by loading docks and parking lots.

The $11 million project is the type of development the council has encouraged in the city centre, bringing more residents to the CBD and making better use of prime real estate.

Project architect Alan Morton said a lot of work had been done to ensure the building would blend in with the surrounding mix of heritage-listed buildings.

“There’s a lot of red brick in this locality, some blue stone too, so we’re really borrowing from that existing materiality and saying ‘yes, we’re going brick,'” he said.

The site is at the foot of a small hill. Mr Morton said this helped design the building so that it does not dominate the city skyline.

“The idea is that it fits in with the existing neighbors, especially the old YMCA building, but also with what’s going on around that neighborhood,” he said.

“It remains at the same level as the two-story terraces along Camp Street as they now exist.”

The development site is one of several car parks dominating the center of Ballarat.(ABC Ballarat: Patrick Laverick)

Associate Professor Andrew Butt of RMIT’s Center for Urban Research said developing underused plots of land in the city center would bring housing closer to established transport links and services.

‘New development in South and West Ballarat also comes with costs, which are car dependency and waiting for services to be provided over several years,’ he said.

“Here you have a ready-made environment for people – things like transport services and retail.”

Mr Butt said developers could learn from poorly executed urban renewal to ensure large-scale projects like this get support from locals.

“We had a period in Melbourne where high levels of growth and high levels of housing demand – particularly for flats – resulted in poorer examples and probably disappointing examples of some prime locations,” a- he declared.

“If the time is right where people want to do this kind of development, we have to understand that these are buildings that will be around for a few generations, and we need them done right.”

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