CBD living plan turns focus on Geelong development sites


Geelong’s high-rise, the Mercer, Miramar and WorkSafe buildings. Picture: Alan Barber

A plan to have 12,000 people living within Geelong’s central business district by 2030 has turned the spotlight on potential development sites.

Two near the northern gateway to the city centre have been listed with potential developers and owner-occupiers interested in the possibilities.

Gartland Property director Michael De Stefano said the opportunities were clear.

“They’re the gateway into the CBD and a stone’s throw to the water, he said.

“There is a big mandate to create 12,000 people habitating within the Geelong CBD over the next seven or eight years, so we are going to see more of this type of product coming into the eyes of developers because there will be a big market for it.”

Development of the sites were part of creating a thriving and energetic CBD.

15 York St, Geelong, is at the gateway to the central business district.

“The car yards are evaporating, so the future of that eastern side of Mercer St will be residential or mixed use development,” he said.

“You can see why. You basically head one street down and you’re at the water.

“Then you travel a little bit south and you’re in the dining precinct or the arts precinct.”

The precinct already has runs on the board, with a huge uptake for the Mercer and Miramar apartments projects, with further development planned for the former Winter & Taylor site.

15 York St, Geelong, is at the gateway to the central business district.

“Between the two there was about 250 apartments that all sold prior to construction. It’s proven the appetite of the market is there,” Mr De Stefano said.

“And I think there’s further towers planned, based on a further demand.

“We’re talking 12,000 people by 2030, so the depth of the market has still got a substantial way to go.”

The first of the developments sites is at 15 York St, at the corner of Keera St.

The 846sq m site has an Activity Centre Zone and is next to a row of apartments and townhouses. Price hopes are low to mid $2 million for the site.

5-11 Mercer St, 4 Sadler Pl and 2-6 Ginn St, Geelong.

The property has a month by month tenant.

“This will suit probably a mixed use scenario with a little bit of showroom or office with apartments upstairs,” Mr De Stefano said.

Darcy Jarman, Newtown agent Tim Darcy said the key to a bigger 2022sq m site was five separate street frontages covering 165 metres.

The parcel comprises addresses at 5-11 Mercer St, 4 Sadler Pl and 2-6 Ginn St, Geelong, with additional frontage to two right-of-ways.

High-rise developments will unlock views to all angles from the Geelong CBD.

It’s being offered by an expressions of interest campaign with vacant possession but based on recent residential land sales in the area, it could attract interest above $7 million.

Mr Darcy said it provides an enormous amount of flexibility to any development scheme.

“It’s included within an activity centre zone, so there is a raft of different things that could suit, but probably the highest and best use would be for residential purposes.”

The draft Central Geelong Framework Plan lists the preferred building height for the site at 21m, with a 16m street frontage, providing for between four and six storeys. It previously had a 15m preferred building height.

5-11 Mercer St, 4 Sadler Pl and 2-6 Ginn St, Geelong.

“All that is under ministerial review but you’ve got the opportunity to do something quite unique and of an up-market nature given the aspects that you are going to be able to create over the bay,” Mr Darcy said.

“You’re going to have good northerly, easterly and southerly vistas and probably reasonably to the west.

“You’re walking distance to all our key feature sports within the activity centre, being Deakin, the train station, Westfield and so forth.”