Developers prepare to capitalise on GovHub worker influx

Car parking at 222 Mair Street (left) and an artist impression of a future hospitality venture at the site.
Car parking at 222 Mair Street (left) and an artist impression of a future hospitality venture at the site.

A five-storey mixed residential development in the heart of the Ballarat CBD has been abandoned in favour of a hospitality venture.   

The site at the corner of Mair and Armstrong streets had been given the green light to be transformed into urban housing however developers have since opted to take a different route. 

If given the go-ahead the space, which currently houses 13 private car parks, will offer a 255 square metre retail or hospitality space alongside a further dining room on the second floor. 

Project management company Project Now has applied to council for parking exemptions for the new space which will not have any of its own car parks. 

Project Now director Luke Jennings said given the location of the development he was confident council would waive the car parking requirement. 


“There’s limited parking in the CBD but there’s a shift in the way people are using cars,” Mr Jennings said. 

“The way council are trying to activate the CBD means we certainly need to have people who work and live in close proximity.”

The development is on advertising, with a decision to be made by council after November 23. 

Ray White Ballarat is seeking interest from prospective tenants subject to council approval. 

It comes as the state government prepares to begin construction on the mammoth GovHub project which will see up to 1000 public servants relocated to the Civic Hall block. 

The $47.8 million building will bring 600 new white collar jobs to the city’s CBD.

If given the green light the project at 222 Mair Street could begin as soon as the first quarter of 2018.

Artist impression of GovHub

Artist impression of GovHub

The proposal comes after renowned artists David and Yuge Bromley purchased the dilapidated Peter Lalor Hotel across from the Civic Hall site, with plans to reopen this summer with a focus on accommodation. 

Another new restaurant is being built next door to the 222 Mair Street site, while nearby Armstrong Street has become a booming hospitality precinct in recent years.

Council is looking to encourage further development of the CBD with a goal of 50 per cent of population growth to be infill driven by 2040, up from the current 40 per cent rate.

As part of the development the state government committed $2 million to assist council in creating 1000 parking spaces around the precinct, however council is yet to outline where these will be. 

Ballarat City Council was contacted for comment but failed to respond by deadline.