Restaurant, bar planned for ambulance station in DPI development

PLAN: The old ambulance station is at the right of the new three-storey DPI offices in this Prince Street view of how the site will look from late 2020. Photo: Supplied
PLAN: The old ambulance station is at the right of the new three-storey DPI offices in this Prince Street view of how the site will look from late 2020. Photo: Supplied

The former Orange ambulance station on Anson Street will be turned into a restaurant, cafe and bar as part of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) plans for the old base hospital site.

Verde Property has been announced as the winning tenderer for the construction of the $70 million three-storey complex that will house 700 DPI staff from late 2020.

Verde director Jody Gosling said the company had developed large sites in Townsville and Mackay for the Queensland government.

“Verde is very excited to be awarded the right to develop the 8500 square metre office space in Orange,” she said.

Ms Gosling said the former ambulance building will be “restored and repurposed” into a bar, cafe and restaurant to serve DPI staff, TAFE staff nearby and the Orange community.

She said ADCO Constructions would be the head contractor for the project while Group GSA would be the architect and lead consultant. 

CALL TO REZONE AREA AROUND DPI SITE FOR BUSINESS

The area between the CBD in Summer Street and the future site of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in Prince Street should be re-zoned to encourage more retail business in the area.

That’s the view of Orange Business Chamber president Ash Brown who said Tuesday’s announcement the DPI would move to the old base hospital site in 2020 would be good for business.

“There will be pressure on [Orange City] council to rezone the area as commercial,” he said.

“I think the council should consider it.”

Mr Brown said the relocation would encourage the 700 staff  to come into the CBD.

“It is only two blocks from the CBD,” he said.

“There will be more foot traffic from the DPI back to town.”

Mr Brown said the CBD would begin to shift north once the DPI relocated.

“It is good council has the CBD review [a $30 million revitalisation project is about to open for public discussion] at the same time as the DPI announcement. This is perfect timing.”

Ray White Orange real estate principal Libby Seaman said the DPI move would benefit businesses more than residential real estate values in the area.

“I think it will change the demographic of the area,” she said.

“It will be more of a business hub, with office supplies and coffee shops.”

Ms Seaman said the area already had some businesses including coffee shops and doctors surgeries and she expected that would increase to service the DPI demand.

Council’s Employment and Economic Committee chair Cr Jeff Whitton said he did not support rezoning near the new DPI site.

“That would be a bit unfair on those people living in that area,” he said.

“We have mixed zoning and coffee shops [and other other stores] who start early and finish late affect the lifestyle of the people living around them.

“It is a wait and see thing. We will see what the effect of the DPI and the cosmopolitan buildings have on the area.”

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