The auction sign has gone up on Ballarat Council's Occasional Care Centre in Armstrong Street North, with strong interest expected in the vacant building which sits at the heart of massive CBD redevelopment.
With a large yard in the back of the childcare centre, the 965sqm block could become a prime development site for a childcare centre, hospitality ventures or related industries as the immediate area undergoes massive change.
Despite an influx of more than 1000 workers expected when GovHub is finished across the road from the centre, the new Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative building, and development expected on the vacant corner of Mair Street, council have opted to sell the building and have moved the occasional care service to the redeveloped Girrabanya Children's Centre.
"We have had the opportunity with some funding to relocate occasional care down to Girrabanya to offer a one-stop shop so families with children can access long day care, kinder, maternal and child health services and occasional care," said council's community development director Neville Ivey.
Mr Ivey said the old occasional care building no longer met family expectations of child care services.
"The precinct is under significant change with GovHub and because the market is in a big state of change given the major development next door ... Ray White will sell the site at their in-house auction," said Ballarat Council's director of infrastructure and environment Terry Demeo.
Despite the proximity to the GovHub build, the state government has previously ruled out acquiring the land.
Ray White Ballarat director Trevor Booth said other developments in the area were looking positive for the whole CBD. He pointed to interest in the vacant lot on the corner of Mair and Armstrong streets, currently being used as a car park, which has been on the market for 12 months. The owner has sought planning approvals for a flexible space, he said, which could include a restaurant, business, and potentially residential space.
"I think there's a lot of optimism about the north side of Sturt Street," he said. "Many people see that over the next three to five years, a lot more people will be there, and opportunities for business."
The new BADAC building has opened in Armstrong St, with an official opening to be announced soon.
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