THIS is the first glimpse of what a controversial $25 million development to be built in Griffith’s CBD could look like.
The artists’ impression has been released by developers Ascenzo Industries (AI) in a bid to attract feedback from the community before construction begins next year.
The precinct will be built on the Railway Street block AI purchased for $2.5 million from council in July, a sale which attracted fierce criticism from some local councillors and business leaders.
In response to community criticism over a lack of public consultation on the sale of the land, AI has called for community input into the development.
The multi-storey precinct will feature four-star serviced apartments in the centre, with mixed-use buildings on either side.
These could include restaurants, retail stores and corporate offices.
“It’s important we have feedback on what the community really wants,” AI general manager Peter Breckenridge said.
“We’re hoping to hear some suggestions for how we can integrate the development with Memorial Park and we want to hear people’s thoughts on all aspects of the project.
“If, by talking to residents, we realise there’s something the community really needs, we’ll go and target businesses that can deliver that.
“We think that’s a win-win situation.”
The accommodation side of the development, rumoured to be operated by Quest Apartments, will be targeted at travelling professionals, a group set to increase when Griffith Community Private Hospital is completed.
AI has committed to employing local tradespeople to build the precinct.
A development application for the serviced apartments is likely to be lodged by the end of the month.
Mr Breckenridge rejected concerns the development would be detrimental to existing local businesses.
“I don’t see it as being competitive at all,” he said.
“We’re not going to put anything in there that the town already has – we’re looking for a point of difference.
“This will be a blue chip development that will add value to the town.”
Mr Breckenridge will be in Griffith on October 10 to carry out community consultation.
Anyone wishing to meet with him can book an appointment by calling 03 9359 1777.
Alternatively, residents can email Mr Breckenridge at email@example.com to share their ideas and concerns.