Revealed: What Bill Votsaris has planned for Geelong landmark
Geelong developer Bill Votsaris is expanding his reach in the city’s trendy west end of Little Malop St.
Mr Votsaris has played a key role as building owner and manager in transforming the strip between Moorabool St and Gheringhap St into a thriving restaurant and cafe hub.
And now he’s snapped up the landmark Lloyds Corner at the gateway to the precinct.
Maxwell Collins Geelong agent Don Hough said the 1930s era building at 124-128 Moorabool St sold above its $2 million-plus quote range after seven offers emerged from an expressions of interest campaign.
“They came from either people who wanted to redevelop the site to something a little more grand than what is there, or to even consider leasing the property as is,” he said.
Mr Hough said it was a flagship site for the strip.
“ (Mr Votsaris) has great visions for that location and has invested heavily into the area and has now starting to see great potential out of the site. It’s quite a honey pot now,” he said.
Mr Votsaris said he was determined not to be beaten to the building, where architects were tasked to retain and restore the fabric of the building and consider how it would best work with its Little Malop St neighbours.
“It’s going to be a project that’s very important to the street and it will feature highly in our process on how we are going to activate that corner,” he said.
“Not only what happens within the building, but what happens outside and how that building interfaces with the rest of the street is really important to us.
“We want this to complement the customer experience at Geelong Cellar Door and West End,” he said.
Mr Votsaris said it would be a hospitality space and he wanted have a rooftop space and activate the bluestone basement.
“The building is quite substantial so when we finish with it will not be a single tenancy.”
“It will definitely have rooftop spaces for customers to enjoy.
“Without outdoor space you’re compromising the experience of a customer and ultimately the viability of a venue.”
Mr Votsaris, through various business interests, has become one of the most significant investors in Geelong CBD properties.
His reach includes the Eureka Hotel (now West End) and buildings opposite leased to Geelong Cellar Door and Pistol Pete’s Food & Blues, the old Geelong newsagency at 140 Moorabool St and a two-storey bluestone building at 86 Moorabool St, where an old Castrol oil sign was exposed in a recent redevelopment that hosts a boxing studio.
Mr Votsaris’ Batman Investments also secured the old Geelong Post Office, where there are plans to establish a boutique hotel, while the businessman is working in partnership with the Hamilton Group to the Bright and Hitchcock site into an office, retail, hospitality and commercial complex and a redevelopment and extension of National Mutual Building.