CONSTRUCTION of the large multi-storey Newmason development in Warragul has begun with workers returning to the site this morning after months of delays.
Above: Brett Neilson at the site this afternoon. Photos by William PJ Kulich except artist's impression.
Excavation for the Mason Street development began in February last year and was expected to be completed by August this year, but development stalled before construction began.
Developer Brett Neilson told The Warragul Citizen today the delay was caused by a number of issues.
“It’s just the commercial intricacies of development,” Mr Neilson said.
Those intricacies were “tenants, just a number of different things. We’ve had hold ups but we have overcome all of those and are now still 100 per cent committed and, as you can see, starting construction.”
“There’s no further risk (of delays) now. We’ve got 100 per cent full approval, full sign-off in every aspect so there’s no risk.”
Mr Neilson said construction was now excepted to be completed by around the end of July or early August next year, with tenants moving in in August.
When completed the building will feature two floors of retail, corporate and medical businesses, a hotel, underground parking and seven rooftop apartments.
Plans for the project remain largely identical to those in place before the stall.
“The plans are pretty much as previously outlined, (there are only) minor changes,” Mr Neilson said.
While Mr Neilson represents Traralgon-based construction company BFN Developments, the project will largely use locally-sourced labour and supplies.
“We use a lot of local trades from Warragul anyway that come down our way,” Mr Neilson said.
“We’re all pretty local I guess.
“There’s a lot of labour coming from Warragul I can assure you of that, and supplies.”
Modelling by the Baw Baw Shire Council earlier this year suggested the Newmason development, the Warragul Station Precinct project and Warragul Leisure Centre redevelopment would together create 101 direct jobs and 158 indirect jobs over the next two years.
Mr Neilson thanked locals for their patience during the delay.
Above: the site on Monday.
Above: trucks have returned to Mason Street.
Above: an artist’s impression of the finished building.
Above: one of the two large excavations on the site.
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