A vacant seven-storey office building in the Bundaberg CBD will sit empty no more with the site set to be redeveloped for 229 student rooms, eateries and shops.
A development application, submitted by the SSS Dang Family, seeking redevelopment of the former SGIO building incorporating the City Centre Arcade has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council.
Dubbed the SSS Tower, the approved development includes three stages which would see the existing building renovated for a mix of student accommodation and commercial use, a four-storey carpark constructed and a second tower built directly behind the existing building.
Council's group manager development Michael Ellery said the staged project would provide an economic boost to the CBD.
“This development has the potential to act as an economic driver for the Bundaberg CBD,” Mr Ellery said.
“By bringing people into the CBD to live, this development provides a potential catalyst for growth for all CBD businesses but especially food and entertainment venues.
“The proposed development will revitalise an iconic building located in the heart of the CBD and provide much-needed modern facilities for student accommodation.
“This development will not only benefit the Bundaberg CBD but it will also be critical in making Bundaberg more attractive to students to come here to study.”
SSS Tower to modernise arcade
Mr Ellery said, if delivered, the building would modernise the City Centre Arcade.
“The applicant has plans to redevelop the arcade and will make it more open to the public by raising and widening the entry, creating a forecourt,” he said.
“This will actually slightly reduce the tenancy floor area with a view to making it more inviting to CBD shoppers.
“A mix of food and drink, retail and office use has been approved for the ground floor within the arcade.”
In addition to providing an arcade facelift, the first stage will convert the remaining six storeys of the office building, which has sat vacant for more than a decade, into student accommodation.
“Level two includes 14 rooms made up of eight single rooms with communal facilities, four studio rooms and two executive suites,” Mr Ellery said.
“Levels three to six include 15 rooms per floor for rooming accommodation, each featuring single and studio rooms and an executive suite.
“This will result in a total of 74 student accommodation rooms.”
The second stage of the development is the construction of a four-level carpark across the street from SSS Tower at 64 Woongarra Street.
“The carpark will include 175 parking spaces with a gated access for residents however the applicant has indicated that surplus carparks could be available to the general public.”
The third and final stage of the SSS Tower development would see a second tower constructed directly behind the existing building, standing at eight storeys high.
“Stage three represents the developer’s future intent to construct a second multi-storey building for additional student accommodation,” Mr Ellery said.
“Plans submitted with the application indicate that the proposed tower will be eight storeys high with a total of 155 rooms.
“This will include 15 single rooms on level one and 20 single rooms each on levels two to eight.
“As a consequence of the proposal, over the three stages a total of 229 rooms will be constructed.”
In announcing their intention to submit the SSS Tower development application in September 2019, SSS Strawberries spokesperson Victor Dang said he was hopeful work would start on the building by the end of 2020.