A proposed 4.5-star hotel at the site of the former Thomas Jewellers store in Bendigo's Hargreaves Mall has been approved by council.
The six-storey, 110 room hotel will include a restaurant, cafe and function facilities, with construction expected to cost $14.4 million, according to planning documents.
Council's director strategy and growth Bernie O'Sullivan said the development would help revitalise Bendigo's city centre.
"Attracting and supporting hotel developments in Hargreaves Mall and the city centre has been a priority for a number of years, given Bendigo's strong reputation as a visitor destination," Mr O'Sullivan said.
Bendigo Hotel Investments representative Ben Tzirkas said a lot of work went into the proposal before it was brought to council.
"We started the journey in late 2018 and the council executive has been very supportive throughout," Mr Tzirkas said.
The proposal received five objections, concerning the height of the building, car parking, access and heritage impact.
Take a look at the artist's impression for the hotel. It may take a few moments to load.
Mr Tzirkas said the building's height has been reduced by 2.1 metres, following advice from Heritage Victoria.
"This was something that was driven as part of the Heritage Victoria process," he said.
"There is no loss of rooms and internal amenity has been maintained."
A traffic engineering assessment undertaken in March estimated the hotel would create demand for 101 car parks during the evening and 34 car parks during the day.
The hotel's application included no provision for its own car park.
READ MORE: New $30m hotel proposed for Bendigo CBD
It is understood hotel guests would park their vehicles in one of the CBD's existing multi-storey car parks, including the Edwards Street car park.
Council's parking strategy coordinator Jock Schofield corresponded with Mr Tzirkas on March 3 and said council would work with the hotel to ensure a car parking arrangement that met the needs of its users.
The developer, Bendigo Hotel Investments, will also be required to make a monetary contribution towards future parking facilities in the city centre.
"Prior to issuing an occupancy permit, a one-off payment or a progressive payment over three years is proposed," Mr Tzirkas said.
"It is intended these funds will maintain and upgrade the existing car park facilities."
Heritage Victoria has separately granted permission to proceed with the development.
The final planning permit will be issued within 28 days, if no appeals are lodged.
Mr Tzirkas said he hopes the hotel's construction will commence in early 2021 and open in mid-2022.
Bendigo has recently proven an attractive destination for hotel investors, with Amber Property Group lodging a planning application for a 108-room hotel at the intersection of Williamson and Mollison streets in May.
A third multi-million dollar hotel development proposal for a 148-room establishment on Mollison Street was also received by council in May.
Bendigo Hotel Investments' marketing and economic benefit statement, which it included in its planning application, revealed Bendigo's accommodation market is dominated by 29 small, older style motels and motor inns.
Overall, there are just eight properties, four hotels and four motels, boasting a 4 or 4.5-star rating in Bendigo.
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