A new business has been formally announced to run hospitality operations at the Ballarat station's Goods Shed project.
The Atlantic Group, which runs several hospitality outlets in Melbourne, will "create a variety of spaces" at the heritage-listed building, according to a media release.
This will include a cafe, and "an Asian grab and go kiosk for dumplings and more, as well as lavish event spaces and a theatrette".
Negotiations are ongoing with the award-winning Dollar Bill Brewing, from Invermay, for a new state-of-the-art brewery, cannery, and tasting room for the site, and with Melbourne-based gin distillery Little Lon, which received a $750,000 grant from the state government earlier this year for the project.
If approved, it's expected 140 jobs will be created across the precinct.
The Goods Shed, developed, built, and to be managed by Pellicano, is part of the multi-million dollar Ballarat station precinct upgrade from the state government, which has already seen a new 405-space multi-level commuter car park and hotel built, and will eventually include a new public plaza and easier connection to a new bus interchange, with a large-scale public art installation.
The project has experienced several setbacks, with more asbestos identified than expected, and previous operator Spotless pulling out in April.
The interior plans were also tightened, reducing the number of retailers inside from six to four.
In a submission to Heritage Victoria last month, Pellicano asked for expanded outdoor dining access to lock in the Atlantic Group - a letter from the group stated more outdoor dining space is "crucial" post-pandemic, and would be needed to make the site commercially viable.
It's understood the submission is still before Heritage Victoria, and has not yet been approved.
Designs for the Goods Shed show four separate retail spaces around a food court area, with a large conference centre space on the western side.
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The theatrette, according to the media release, "is designed to showcase independent movies, plays, performances, conferencing, TED talks and more, featuring 308 seats with a state-of-the-art cinema sound system".
Dollar Bill's Fiona Nolle said if the brewery proposal is approved, the project could be a game-changer for Ballarat - their barrel-aged peach sour won Champion Australian Beer at this year's Australian International Beer Awards. "We're looking for investors to help make it a reality," she added.
The Goods Shed is slated to open in October this year.
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