WORK on a $3.5 million development in Kyneton will start in coming weeks.
The Piper Street retail project will feature seven shops and provide a significant boost to the area, according to developer Graham Jasper.
Mr Jasper said one building had already been leased, providing an expansion to the Piper Street Food Company.
“I think it’s going to strengthen Piper Street and its attractiveness to tourists and visitors,” he said.
“And it’s probably going to employ another 20 or 30 people.
“It’s a show of strength in Kyneton’s economy.”
Mr Jasper said there was some risk in the venture.
“There’s always risk in doing a major development,” he said.
“And the risk here is it’s not fully tenanted.
“It’s 25 per cent tenanted; one very large shop has been tenanted.”
Mr Jasper said he expected more shops would be leased following the federal election.
“In my view that will minimise some of the risks,” he said.
The development incorporates the historic former Emporium site, and Mr Jasper said it had required careful planning.
“The architect that we used was keen to give the appearance of something having been built over time,” he said.
“There are some traditional forms and shapes and some contemporary forms and shapes in the development.
“We expect it will be open in May or June next year. It’s been an extended process.”
Mr Jasper said there was not a particular type of business he wanted to attract to the site.
“We’re just keen on something that has a sympathetic connection to what’s there,” he said.
Seale Bros was recently awarded the construction contract for the development and is seeking services from various trades.