A design review of the much-maligned Hargreaves Mall is expected to be completed this month.
City of Greater Bendigo councillors will be briefed on the ‘transforming the city centre’ work being undertaken by council staff at a meeting next Wednesday.
The update includes references to a design review for the ailing shopping strip, to be completed by independent urban design experts, Hansen Partnership.
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The report also references the council was seeking creative ideas to redesign the area near the bus shelter in Hargreaves Mall.
The council is looking for temporary retail or food or beverage ideas.
Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan said there was a good opportunity to activate the Mitchell Street-end of the mall.
“After listening to traders it became clear that we needed to have a look at how we could get some complementary commercial activity and vibrancy into the Mitchell Street-end of Hargreaves Mall,” he said.
The fate of a proposed city centre hotel and a new baptist church will also be determined by councillors at the July 18 meeting.
Councillors are recommended to approve a multi-storey ‘residential hotel’ at 38 Bridge Street.
A report to council suggests the building will contain 30 suites over five floors and will include an ancillary restaurant on the ground floor with a mezzanine, rooftop bar and gymnasium. The building would comprise a total of six above-ground storeys, with a mezzanine floor and basement car park, the report read.
The report suggests council approve the development despite some legitimate concerns from four objectors based on the grounds the hotel is located in the Bridge Street Activity Area, which “is at the start of a transitioning period and a proposal which promotes council’s vision for the area with a high quality architectural design should be supported”.
Councillors are also recommended to reject a planning application for a new baptist church at 100 Hammill Street, Kangaroo Flat, as it is an inappropriate land use that will have a detrimental impact on the rural residential character and detract from the entry to the adjacent National Park.