Boutique revamp for former RSL building

BALLARAT’S newest boutique apartments are expected to open in late January.

Works on the former RSL building in Lyons Street South have been carried out for the past 10 weeks, with a January 26 opening date set for the Ballarat Premier Apartments.

Developer Darren Fraser said yesterday that he and wife Janet had tried to keep as much of the historic building as possible.

“We haven’t done much to it, just restored it,” Mr Fraser said.

“We’ve spared nothing. We’re aiming at the high- end market.”

The 1901 building’s exterior has been painted and leadlight windows either restored or replaced.

Inside there are 10 suites, either one, two or three-bedroom, along with a conference room, serviced laundry and both upstairs and downstairs foyers.

“We will also offer personalised service, such as valet parking on request.”

Original fittings have been retained where possible, including the name of the first owner Dr Cussen, which is etched into a leadlight window over the front door, plus ceilings and cornices.

Marble and cast-iron fireplaces that were boarded up have been restored and 21 Italian-made chandeliers are to be installed.

Airconditioning and heating have been put  in every room, with hydronic heating in the foyers. Each room also has its own kitchen and bathroom.

An extension at the rear of the building, which once housed poker machines, has been made into a more modern three-bedroom apartment, complete with study and massive walk-in wardrobe.

“This is where you go from the old to the new,” Mr Fraser said.

All verandahs have been restored and the front ornate cast-iron balcony detail has been painted.

A history of the building, including its time as a doctor’s surgery and residence and the home of the RSL, will be documented throughout.

“It’s been an enjoyable project and I think it will come up magnificently.”

The RSL building was sold in July for an undisclosed sum after it was passed in at auction in June for $1.15 million.