HIGH-RISE, inner city living is a given in Melbourne.
But Ballarat, with its protective heritage overlay, has always lacked appropriate spaces for CBD unit developments that are more than two or three storeys tall.
However, a five-storey complex in Lyons Street North is about to change all that while creating a unique opportunity for smaller households.
With 38 apartments, a medical centre, an underground car park and a rooftop garden, PRD Nationwide director Neil Jens said the development would provide a whole new lifestyle in Ballarat.
“The last five or six years, there’s been an enormous buying swing to lifestyle properties,” Mr Jens said.
“This will slot in perfectly to the pent-up demand in Ballarat.
“It will be very easy-living, with secure car parking. People will be able to really enjoy a lifestyle Ballarat hasn’t been able to offer before.”
Mr Jens said they expected demand for units from a range of people, including couples looking to downsize and professional couples. He also said land for such developments was very limited in Ballarat. “There’s a lot of talk about people getting into the central area. In Melbourne, another tower goes up here and there but I’m not sure how much opportunity there will be here.”
Developer Neil Twaits of NNT Developers said work was tipped to begin next January and be completed by the end of 2013, with a builder yet to be appointed.
PRD Nationwide real estate sales consultant Don Hanlon said the project would create fantastic employment opportunities for Ballarat.
“It really endorses the confidence the community needs to see,” Mr Hanlon said.
“It also endorses Ballarat as a lifestyle choice.”
Ballarat council candidate Gary Fitzgerald said he hoped nearby residents would be consulted thoroughly before the plans went ahead.
“We’re very proud of our heritage in this city,” he said. “It seems a very large project – is it going a bit overboard? We need development, but we’ve got to make sure it’s in line with our heritage overlay.”