A LONG-VACANT lot in Wagga's CBD could be transformed into a $15.5 million hotel complex.
Documents lodged this week with Wagga City Council outline plans for a six-storey building comprising 104 hotel rooms and 10 commercial spaces at 7-9 Baylis Street.
The plan, lodged by Design Workshop Australia on behalf of Capital Land Group Australia, aims to revitalise the site, which had previously housed a service station, with its "boutique accommodation".
Director of Design Workshop Australia Robert Gizzi said the site was chosen because it was "one of the most prominent areas in the city".
"It's a key and iconic site and we're looking to revitalise that corner for tourists and locals," Mr Gizzi said.
Documents lodged state that the hotel provides "the desired future character of the streetscape of the commercial core of Wagga".
"[It] will complement the existing look and feel of the area based on different uses, street patterns, subdivisions, densities and typologies," the documents read.
The plan also includes 74 parking spots.
The proposal comes less than a month after the council approved a hotel development proposal on Forsyth Street and two months after news that construction of the new Holiday Inn at The Mill will begin this year.
"We've had some really great meetings with council and we think it would benefit the whole Riverina," Mr Gizzi said.
Existing accommodation businesses raised fears of oversupply and a drop in standards about the Forsyth Street hotel prior to its approval.
However, Mr Gizzi said they were not concerned about their proposal creating "sustainability" issues.
"It'd be a synergy [between all operators] as there'll be a source of variety and diversity in the region," Mr Gizzi said.
"We've done our research and we're confident about our proposal because CLG has a proven record."
Similarly, independent property valuer Chris Egan said the latest proposal in close proximity to The Mill can turn the area into a "self-perpetuating hub" of activities.
"It's a natural reaction for existing operators to not want other competition, which is fair enough, but the developers would have done their feasibility studies to justify the application and costs of development," Mr Egan said.
Mr Egan said the council should have little involvement in its progress.
"It's an economics decision ... It's been 20 years and it's disgraceful that a site like that, as an entrance into Wagga, has been left empty as an eyesore," he said.
Committee 4 Wagga CEO Alan Johnston said it would be great to see a more aesthetic-pleasing sight on that corner.
"We've got the Mill Hotel going as well, so it reflects a positive view for Wagga's future," Mr Johnston said.
"The city's not going to stay at 65,000 people for too long, so these sorts of developments and the jobs that come with them are going to come down the pipeline.
"New sites raise the standards as well - existing operators should be challenged to provide the best service."
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