Geelong’s network of laneways will be further expanded with a new pathway set to begin construction next year.
As part of the $370 million Geelong City Deal, 28 Malop Street has been purchased with the existing building to be demolished.
The demolition will make-way for construction of a new connecting laneway to better link the Green Spine, the city’s water-front and the university precinct with Little Malop Street’s thriving shops, food outlets and nightlife via Denny’s Place.
The laneway network overhaul is part of the broader, $38 million Revitalising Central Geelong Project under the City Deal.
Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said Geelong was fast becoming an even better place to live, work and play under the City Deal.
“The laneway will bring to life a new part of the city which will support new jobs and improve the local economy for emerging and existing businesses,” Mr Tudge said.
“It’s crucial that investments like this one under the City Deal get cracking because Geelong, and Victoria, desperately needs the economic stimulus.”
Victorian Minister for Planning Richard Wynne said the expansion of the laneway project will continue to breathe new life into Central Geelong.”
“Geelong is booming and is a great place to live and invest – this project will improve accessibility to the city’s growing network of laneways and the businesses that thrive off them.” Mr Wynne said.
Victorian Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes said the laneways project will help people to move easily between Little Malop Street and Malop Street.
“The new laneway will improve pedestrian access for thousands of office workers from Worksafe and NDIA offices. This will help them to more easily visit Little Malop Street – that’s good news for local businesses along that strip who’ll no doubt be looking to welcome more customers and a boost to business,” Ms Symes said.
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the Geelong City Deal is supporting the continued transformation of the region by leveraging the city’s strengths.
“The Geelong City Deal is focused on improved investment and coordination across three levels of government to support a prosperous and liveable future for Geelong and the Great Ocean Road region,” Senator Henderson said.
“The project will provide a welcome economic boost to the region once COVID-19 restrictions start to ease, thereby creating jobs for the people of Geelong and the surrounding region.”
State Member for Geelong Christine Couzens said the pandemic had had huge impacts on local businesses.
“That is why it’s important we get on with these projects to drive investment into the city, support local construction jobs and help the region bounce back,” Ms Couzens said.
Existing tenants of the building are been provided with ongoing support to locate and move to another appropriate location in Geelong, including waving rental fees.
Progress is also underway on the next section of the Green Spine between Gheringhap and Moorabool streets, which will now be delivered in the first quarter of 2021.
The next section will provide a new entry to the city from Johnstone Park and the train station precinct and include a landscaped triangle park that will feature new trees, grass and seating areas as well as improved pedestrian access along the north side of the street.
Preliminary design work on the remaining blocks of the Green Spine that will connect greenery and safe dedicated bike lanes from Bellarine Street all the way through to the Botanic Gardens is also underway.
The Geelong City Deal will deliver $370 million of new government investment, consisting of $183.8 million from the Australian Government, $172 million from the Victorian Government and $14.4 million from the City of Greater Geelong.