$150 million Geelong gateway development gets the green light

$150 million Geelong gateway development gets the green light
$150 million Geelong gateway development gets the green light

Franzé Developments has proposed plans for the biggest new hotel project in the Geelong region for two decades.

The burgeoning expansion of one of Australia's fastest growing regional cities has been bolstered with Franzé Developments securing planning approval from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for its $150 million Geelong development – the largest mixed-use project in the region.

Located at 44 Ryrie Street within the Geelong Activity Centre Zone, the 2,700 square metre gateway site will comprise 1,000 square metres ground floor retail, 7,400 square metres office space, 24 residential apartments and a 180 bed hotel, all connected by a highly activated street level plane with public access.

In a coup for Geelong's hotel and tourism sector, global hotel operator The InterContinental Group signed a 20-year management agreement to operate the 180 bed hotel in late 2017. The $75 million Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Australia and the largest new hotel project in the region in almost 20 years.

Paul Franzé, Founder and Managing Director of Franzé Developments says he is thrilled to receive approval for the gateway site as Geelong develops into the region's epicenter for retail, tourism and employment due to its strong population and economic growth.

"Our vision for the Ryrie Street site is to deliver a truly mixed-use project that responds to the Central Geelong Action Plan which will see Geelong evolve from its manufacturing roots to a city of culture and innovation.

Geelong is now one of Australia's fastest growing regional cities, with population expected to grow by more than 150,000 people in the next 20 years, and the urban environment and amenity needs to respond accordingly.

"Geelong has a diverse and strong economy with over 17,000 businesses and a highly skilled labour force. It continues to attract new residents and investment due to its livability and proximity to Melbourne, combined with increasing employment opportunities and affordability."

Architectus, the design studio behind 1 Bligh Street, Sydney and 383 La Trobe Street, Melbourne (in collaboration with architect Ateliers Jean Nouvel), has been appointed as the project design team, with Hansen Partnership managing the project's urban planning.

It is located on a prominent corner at the intersection of Ryrie and Fenwick Streets.

"The design of 44 Ryrie Street draws upon the history of both the city and the site. The materiality, rhythm and scaling of the buildings reference the iconic wool stores of Geelong, and the grain of the city's rich heritage fabric. Creating an active mixed use development that incorporates hotel, residences, office and a vibrant retail ground plane, the project stiches seamlessly into the adjacent cultural precinct and builds on the investment in the area to become a gateway to Geelong's city centre," says Matthew Smith, Managing Principal at Architectus.

The orientation of the site forms a 90 metre northern frontage to Ryrie Street with a physical split, creating a public thoroughfare linking Ryrie Street to Cuzens Place. 

Colliers International, in conjunction with MP Burke Commercial, is managing the leasing campaign for the 7,400 square metre office space across ten levels with a generous double-height lobby. The apartments are expected to start selling in October 2018.

The site, which was home to John Orchard Furniture and was previously an intercity bus depot, was purchased from John Orchard for $7 million in 2017.

Demolition is underway and construction is scheduled to commence in late 2018, with completion expected in mid 2020.

The Holiday Inn Hotel is scheduled to open in 2020 and will target the longer stay segment of the tourism market. The property will include an all-day dining restaurant and bar, swimming pool, gym, parking and 300 square metres of meeting facilities, including a function room for 250 people.

Hotel Geelong

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