A multimillion-dollar development on Sturt Street will be the largest office built on the historic arterial “in living memory”, local realtors have said.
Office construction in Ballarat has boomed for the first time in almost 30 years, with 909 Sturt Street being the biggest development to date, Colliers International managing director Andrew Lewis said.
The 2000 square metre building will house retail at ground level and offices and medical suites above and is expected to cost about $4 million.
“It’s the biggest office built on Sturt Street in living memory,” Mr Lewis said.
The construction of new, modern office spaces and refurbishment of older buildings will prevent the city from falling into “decay” and bring existing buildings up to occupational health and safety standards, Mr Lewis said.
“You’ve got to renew your stock otherwise the city just falls into decay, it’s all about renewal.
“It doesn’t necessarily create a lot of extra space, it creates more A-grade office space which is what the city needs.”
Construction is also underway at the former Courier print site on Creswick Road with offices to be let in April 2017.
Offices will also emerge from the ashes of Plaster Fun House in Grenville Street, which burned down in 2014.
The boom in office construction has been driven by a drop in yields, giving developers a larger return on their investment, Mr Lewis said.
Construction at 909 Sturt Street, which is expected to be completed by October 2017, was unusual because it had begun without tenants already confirmed, he said.
“This is being built as a speculation which is unusual.
“It speaks volumes of the confidence in the marketplace, they’re confident they’ll get a tenant, they’re confident the yield is low enough they’ll make a profit.”
The building would be “typical of the modernist design” of the commercial and residential developer Macneil Group, which also built The Courier’s new headquarters at 2 Webster Street, Mr Lewis said.
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