Batemans Bay bowling club site ready for sale

Published: 1 January 2016

Eurobodalla Council’s general manager Warwick Winn will soon be engaged in talks with two different developers, looking for the best outcome for Batemans Bay’s old bowling club site.

It follows Council’s decision last Tuesday to endorse the long-planned sale of the land, which sits adjacent to the Bay Pavilions Arts and Aquatic Centre.

Council bought the land on Vesper Street in 2016, recognising its commercial potential and its significance as a gateway site integral to the town’s future development.

The land was initially leased to Transport for NSW for use as a depot during construction of the Batemans Bay bridge. As that work drew to a close in 2021, the Council engaged a real estate agent to seek expressions of interest on its behalf, resulting in four different parties providing ten different offers.

The offers reflect the community’s desire to see tourist accommodation, conference facilities, restaurants and cafes, and residential accommodation; priorities first established when the site was purchased in 2016. Affordable housing was recently added to that mix.

Mr Winn said proposals to develop the site were assessed against social and financial impact, strategic alignment and risk, with proposals from two parties clearly superior.

“At the Council meeting last Tuesday, Councillors approved the sale of the land and gave me the go ahead to pursue the more detailed negotiations with these two developers and finalise negotiations with one of them,” Mr Winn said.

“Councillors will be kept fully informed as negotiations progress, and once they’re complete, I’ll bring those details back for Council consideration and final decision".

Mr Winn said all ten proposals included a mix of hotel and residential options, with hotels ranging up to 200 rooms and the number of residential units up to 350. There were differences in the amount of affordable, seniors and specialised or disability housing.

The actual sale will need to wait, however, while Batemans Bay’s building height limits are reviewed. All current proposals require heights ranging from 30 to 70 metres, with most between 25 and 30 metres. For comparison, the IRT building nearby is the current maximum height at 18 metres.

Mr Winn said height variations were expected in the expression of interest process.

“From the beginning of this lengthy process, Council has been determined to encourage innovative ideas for this site and achieve the best outcome for the community.

“Council is currently undertaking a master planning exercise for the Batemans Bay CBD, and the community will have a chance to share their ideas and views on heights, and a range of other matters, as part of that process.

“This is an exciting opportunity to secure the best potential for a key gateway site in Batemans Bay, and it’s not just about the commercial return for the ratepayer, but other things the community holds dear, like the pressing need for affordable housing.”

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