A major Australian department store chain will continue its investment in the city after extending the lease of its Ballarat store.
Myer announced it had extended the lease of its store, located on the corner of Sturt and Armstrong streets, with improvement works to start in the middle of next year.
Works include improvements to visual merchandising and lighting and flooring to be undertaken. Shoppers will be treated to the addition of new and exclusive brands.
The announcement follows the opening of a number of major retail stores in the Central Square precinct over the past eight months, signaling the start of a hopeful revitalising of part of the Ballarat CBD.
Ballarat Myer, Commerce Ballarat and JJL - a real estate services firm that manages Central Square - welcomed the announcement.
Commerce Ballarat executive officer Jodie Gillett said it was good to see Myer investing in regional Victoria.
"It's critical for the CBD to have a long term and well-respected brand and holds a strong position in our CBD. It's an icon in Ballarat especially where it is positioned," Ms Gillett said.
"We are looking forward to them being in Ballarat for many years to come."
She said having retail stores like Myer and Provincial Home Living in Sturt Street drew people into the CBD and this flowed onto other retailers.
"Having key brands here is important for all retail because it creates a shopping experience for our locals and we have people coming to Ballarat as well.
"We have seen a lot of new retailers open over the past few years. It's good to have the brands but it's good to have the niche shops as well."
Commerce Ballarat is really encouraging people to spend locally. If you lose a brand out of the city, you lose the shopper.Commerce Ballarat executive officer Jodie Gillett
Ballarat Myer store manager Peter Griffin said the store's continued investment was great news.
"This is great news for our loyal Ballarat customers and team members, which will see various store improvements undertaken, and some new and exclusive brands being added to our range," Mr Griffin said.
"We thank the owners of Central Square Ballarat and JLL for the positive partnership we have had, over many years, which has led to this lease extension."
JLL centre manager Lynden Courtney said the firm was looking forward to Myer's continued presence in Ballarat.
"Myer has always been an integral part of the fabric of Ballarat. Many of our customers have memories visiting Myer with their parents or grandparents, and have often come from the surrounding regional towns to visit for the day," Ms Courtney said.
"We are very excited by Myer's continued investment in Ballarat and we look forward to many years of celebrating Myer within our community."
Myer will not be changing the store size or number of team members employed during the improvements. Myer has operated in Ballarat since 1951.
Ballarat heritage architect Wendy Jacobs said Henry Caselli was the architect of the Myer building, which was built in 1869 to 1871. It occupied Mitchell's department store.
"It pre-dates the Town Hall as we know it. It is a significant element in the streetscape," Ms Jacobs said.
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