Warrnambool's Fairy Street looks set to get a $70 million modern makeover after a major apartment complex was given the tick of approval by the city council this week.
Plans for the former Callaghan's Motors site include three towers - one with about 100 serviced apartments, a second will have 50 to 60 apartments which will be sold and another with office and retail space.
It will be a major change to the city's skyline with the development being built over 10 levels including a basement with 180 car spaces.
Melbourne developer Jose Romero, who played in the AFL for North Melbourne and Western Bulldogs, is behind the development, which had been earmarked for completion in 2023.
Callaghan Motors moved to its new Raglan Parade site in 2017 and the site was sold in 2020 to Mr Romero, subject to council planning approval.
The notice of decision to grant a permit was issued by the city council on Thursday after just four objections to the project were received.
One of the objections was later withdrawn, and while councillors were fully briefed on the project there was not enough opposition to trigger sending it to a meeting for councillors to decide on.
"There were insufficient objections for the development to proceed to an open council meeting and the notice of decision to grant a permit has been made under delegation," the council said.
The site could boost the CBD's residential population and bring 20,000 visitors a year, based on a 60 per cent occupancy rate of the hotel.
The only other development on such a scale to be approved in Warrnambool is yet to be built - a proposed nine-storey office-apartment block at the corner of Gilles and Merri streets.
The three objectors have 28 days to lodge an application for a review, and if there is no appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal the council will issue a permit.
The project had attracted support from some nearby businesses when it was first proposed and Steve Callaghan, whose grandfather Frank started the family's Callaghan Motors at the site nearly 90 years ago, said the development would transform the city. "I think it's what Warrnambool has been crying out for," he said.
Now mayor Richard Ziegeler said at the time the proposal was announced that his personal view was that the modern design "wouldn't age well".
"It's an enormous establishment, it's going to dominate the streetscape and the skyline of that particular part of the CBD," he said.
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