WORK on a four-storey residential, retail and office development valued about $5 million is expected to start early next year.
Investor and developer Scott Jackman said the building, at the corner of Mitchell and Mollison streets, was a sign of a changing town.
“It shows what might be achievable and encourages further development to give us all a more active and vibrant city,” he said.
“We’re taking an old building that was renovated 30 years ago and has become very tired and probably a bit of an eyesore on the cityscape.
“We’re trying to reinvigorate that to have relevant use based upon the way the city’s heading and the growth of the city.
“It’s endeavouring to create a landmark site that will be of interest and still be engaging in 20 and 30 years to come, rather than trying to get a quick response.”
The top floor will have seven large apartments on top of office space and three shops.
Mr Jackman said while many people would associate apartments with inner-city living, the development needed to be different.
“In Melbourne, where you’ve got gardens, eateries and art galleries and so many things on, people can use their houses to just go home and sleep in,” he said. “Our belief is regional centres still need a sense of home and an ability to invite people in to entertain.
“We don’t have the vibrancy of a major city where there’s always something to go and do and see.
“The apartments are much larger than you’d see in the city.”
The building aims to be environmentally friendly and the top two levels are set back to remove “visual bulk”.
Mr Jackman said construction was expected to start between February and May and take 12 to 18 months to complete.