24 May 2018

Merimbula to get an Aldi Supermarket, Eden's history to be restored

| Ian Campbell
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The historic facade of the Hotel Australasia in Eden, 1920's. Photo: The Australasia Facebook.

The historic façade of the Hotel Australasia in Eden, 1920’s. Photo: The Australasia Facebook.

Two significant Far South Coast real estate decisions have been made at this weekend meeting of Bega Valley Shire Council.

An Aldi supermarket is set to become part of the Merimbula streetscape after Council formally resolved to enter into a Contract for Sale for 103 & 105 – 107 Main Street with the German giant.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s General Manager, Leanne Barnes, said that progressing the sale was another boon for the Shire.

“This is fabulous news for the town and the Shire more broadly, with greater economic activity bringing a multitude of benefits,” Ms Barnes said.

“Today’s (May 23) confirmation means that this sale can progress to the next step, ensuring that locals and visitors alike may soon enjoy greater choice, the flow-on influence of greater competition and more modern and comfortable shopping conditions.

“Importantly we also envisage that small businesses will experience the positive impact through more people travelling to Merimbula and the area more broadly to spend,” Ms Barnes said.

The development application for the supermarket will go before the Joint Regional Planning Panel due to the cost of construction being valued at $6.9 million – any development over $5 million has to be referred to the JRPP – and also due to Council’s role as the landowner.

Meantime, construction of the town’s new Woolworths Supermarket continues on the land next door, with the Woollies project set to be completed by Christmas 2018.

The old Merimbula Library site on Main Street Merimbula will be redeveloped into and Aldi Supermarket. Photo: BVSC

The old Merimbula Library site on Main Street Merimbula will be redeveloped into and Aldi Supermarket. Photo: BVSC

Further south, Eden’s historic Hotel Australasia is very close to returning to private hands after Council voted to enter into the Contract for Sale and Side Deed with Irisha Pty Ltd and Rubycove Pty Ltd.

The agreed sale price has been incorporated into the contract, with the purchaser agreeing to carry out the restoration of the Hotel, use the restored Hotel, and develop the laneway in accordance with the side deed.

A Restoration Work Bank Guarantee to secure the restoration work has been agreed with the purchaser.

The resolution follows ongoing negotiations between General Manager, Leanne Barnes and the developer.

“Throughout our negotiations it has been clear that Irisha Pty Ltd and Rubycove Pty Ltd are committed to and focussed on reinvigorating the site,” Ms Barnes said.

“Council has also taken a number of performance bond actions to encourage surety for the community through the restoration phase.

“Now 112 years old and listed as a heritage item under the Bega Valley Local Environment Plan 2013 (LEP), this building is an absolute Eden icon, with the ongoing community interest showcasing this perfectly.

“It will be just wonderful to see it return to its former glory in the near future – the Eden community absolutely deserves that,” Ms Barnes said.

Irisha and Rubycove have pointed to the development including top end accommodation upstairs with cafe and retail space at street level.

Council purchased the site in 2016 for $550,000 following community concern the building would be demolished, Council says the final sale price will be made public once contracts are exchanged.

The first milestone in the redevelopment project is in six to 12 months time.

The prized 1920's facade of the Hotel Australasia sits beneath waiting to be uncovered. Photo: BVSC

The prized 1920’s facade of the Hotel Australasia sits beneath waiting to be uncovered. Photo: BVSC.

*This article first appeared on About Regional

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Let’s hope the Eden development happens a little quicker than the Wharf extension. Both sides of politics have made plenty of Eden commitments over the decades that never completely eventuate.

Ian Campbell12:30 pm 25 May 18

Too true – Eden has been promised a lot. Lets hope this works.

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