THE freshly approved $31 million Reside Living Ballina could spur other projects and redevelopment in the town’s burgeoning CBD, according to Mayor David Wright.
Speaking after the council gave unanimous approval of the six-level mixed-use complex last month, Councillor Wright said the project would give residents, businesspeople and investors renewed confidence in Ballina.
He hoped the impending construction of Reside Living Ballina would encourage developers and commercial property owners to push ahead with other projects, particularly at the CBD’s western end.
“We had quite a rush of CBD development in the early 2000s before the global financial crisis saw things quieten down” he said.
“The council has since spent $10 million on the eastern end of town.”
“And now this development approval gives back further confidence in Ballina.”
Aimed at downsizing baby boomers, Reside Living Ballina will deliver 34 apartments above street-level retail and dining on a riverfront site currently occupied by the Sundowner Motel.
Mr Wright said he was thrilled to see such a substantial development finally go ahead on the parcel, which also fronts River and Kerr streets and is at the CBD’s western entry.
“This is the fourth development put forward for the site in the 27 years I have been on council.” he said.
“This end of town needs life put into it and the Sundowner Motel is not the most awe inspiring visage for Ballina.
“Reside Living Ballina will really add a presence to that main corner and provide impetus for further development nearby”
Cr Wright praised the project for providing more public access to the Richmond River and for its inclusion of residential apartments rather than tourist units.
“We wanted a permanent presence rather than just holiday accommodation.” he said.
Reside Living general manager of development Simon Green said the company was thrilled to have received the endorsement of the mayor, council and local business community.
“This project is a perfect fit for Ballina given its attractiveness to baby boomers seeking a complete lifestyle.” he said.
“We are gratified that our vision for the site sits so well with the Ballina community.”
Reside Living Ballina will comprise 17 three-bedroom apartments, 12 two-bedroom dwellings and five one-bedroom units.
The ground-floor commercial precinct will include a waterfront cafe and restaurant tenancy and six other spaces targeted at convenience and medical service providers.