$16m CBD devel­op­ment aims to pro­vide job boost

Albany Extra - - News - Toby Hussey

New apart­ment blocks hous­ing 40 beds will be in the Al­bany CBD within 18 months as part of a $16 mil­lion State Gov­ern­ment pro­ject to at­tract stu­dents and boost the lo­cal build­ing sec­tor.

Con­struc­tion of two stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion build­ings on Ser­pen­tine Road, at the rear of Ali­son Hart­man Gar­dens on the site of the old pri­mary school, is ex­pected to be­gin within two months.

A ten­der will be sought this month.

Min­is­ter for Re­gional Devel­op­ment Alan­nah MacTier­nan pre­dicted the “big con­struc­tion” of two hous­ing blocks and ma­jor land­scap­ing would create 40 jobs and be an im­por­tant boost for lo­cal busi­nesses given the col­lapse of Tec­ton­ics Con­struc­tion Group last month.

“This could not come at a bet­ter time for the Al­bany econ­omy,” she said.

“There has been an un­for­tu­nate bank­ruptcy that oc­curred here with (Tec­ton­ics) — that’s had a flow-on ef­fect through­out the sub­con­tract­ing world in this re­gion.

“Our cal­cu­la­tions is it’s around 40 di­rect jobs . . . there’ll be a full ar­ray of trades that are re­quired.” Ms MacTier­nan said stu­dent hous­ing would help pro­mote Al­bany as a town not just for re­tirees or peo­ple “com­ing here to die”.

“There are peo­ple from Al­bany that are com­ing back to Al­bany to raise their fam­i­lies,” she said.

“It’s not ev­ery­one is com­ing here to die — this has been build­ing up (and) there’s more and more peo­ple re­ally un­der­stand­ing the great sense of com­mu­nity and ac­cess to the beau­ties of the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment you can have from liv­ing in a re­gional town.”

Ad­vance Hous­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Kaz Stern­berg said prices for the fully fur­nished apart­ments could start as low as $100 a week.

The pro­ject is ex­pected to be fin­ished by early 2020.

The pro­ject was orig­i­nally an­nounced in 2016 un­der the Bar­nett gov­ern­ment, and fol­lows the devel­op­ment of 20-bed ac­com­mo­da­tion on Stir­ling Ter­race.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the two stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion build­ings be­hind Ali­son Hart­man Gar­dens.

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