New $30m hotel proposed for Bendigo CBD



A SITE most recently occupied by a food truck could become home to one of Bendigo’s most luxurious hotels.


A Melbourne-based property group has lodged plans for a 10,000 square metre, six-storey hotel at the intersection of Williamson and Mollison streets.

Amber Property Group expects to invest more than $30 million in the project, which has already garnered offers from Hilton and Accor.

The proposed 108-room hotel has a focus on environmentally sustainable design, with the intent of achieving a five-star Green Star Design rating.

The plan includes 84 car parking spaces, including eight for electric vehicles, as well as 14 bicycle spaces. Four e-bikes would be available for guests.

Jevan Clay, one of Amber Property Group’s directors, expected the proposed hotel to create about 48 ongoing jobs.

More than 100 construction jobs were estimated during the development phase.

An artists impression of the proposed hotel, as submitted to the City of Greater Bendigo.

An artists impression of the proposed hotel, as submitted to the City of Greater Bendigo.

Mr Clay said the property group was seeking to partner with local business to work on the project.

“The construction timeline from approval is 18 months to two years,” he said.

The City of Greater Bendigo received the application on Friday.

But work with the city started long before that, with the planning report noting meetings with senior officers in October and December.

“We’re trying to work closely with Bendigo council, and the community, to make sure we design something that adds another layer of accommodation for the Bendigo market,” Mr Clay said.

The proposal also includes a function space and a food and drink area.

“We want to position this as a luxury product for Bendigo,” Mr Clay said.

The project team includes WMK Architects.

The project team includes WMK Architects.

He said the property group was keen to consult the community, expressing a desire for the design to be liked.

The plans lodged with the city have already been modified to take into account feedback from senior officers.

The resulting proposal has two fewer storeys than the initial design.

It also features less glass and reflective materials, to “complement the material palette of the heritage area.”

The site is next to Bush’s Store, which is heritage listed.

Mr Clay said the proposal would be working within heritage constraints, with “absolutely no plans” to affect the surrounding heritage structures.

The shape of the proposed hotel was altered in line with advice from senior city officers, to better respond to the heritage surrounds and “hold the corner”.

A canopy, intended to provide weather protection at the street level, was increased in the designs lodged with the city.

Most of the proposed car parking would be in a planned two-level basement garage, accessible via Williamson Street.

A transport impact assessment found the operation of Williamson Street and the surrounding road network unlikely to be impacted by the suggested development.

“There are no traffic engineering reasons which would preclude a permit from being issued for this proposal,” the assessment said.

It considered the site’s public transport accessibility to be “excellent” and well located within the bicycle network.

The Williamson Street address was also found to be “very walkable”.

Mr Clay said the location was one of the proposal’s strengths, as was the inclusion of on-site car parking.


Big ticket projects planned for the city, like the GovHub and the Bendigo Law Courts, were part of what attracted the property group to Bendigo.

“We think Bendigo is an amazing city and it has got lots of different developments at the moment,” Mr Clay said.

The GovHub would only be 360 metres away from the proposed hotel.

Flights between Bendigo and Sydney were also attractive to the property group.

Those involved in the project took into account Bendigo’s draft city centre plan, which comes before the council for adoption during tonight’s meeting.

The draft plan recognised a need for hotel accommodation in the CBD.

It also suggested some exceptions to prescribed building height limits, which the hotel proposal cites in its justification for a six-storey design.

Originally posted on Bendigo Advisor