A PLAN to turn the former Australia Cinema building into an accommodation and retail hub has finally been given the go-ahead.
The historically significant building at 183 Lords Place will be transformed into a three-level 31 room complex containing shops and a cafe following approval of the $4.35m proposal at this week's Orange City Council meeting.
The project was one of the big ticket items to get the go-ahead at the meeting, which also approved a $2.8 million plan for offices and serviced apartments at 68-70 Peisley Street.
The Peisley Street building will be the new base for construction company AWCON and the apartments are designed to be self-sufficient to cater for short and long-term corporate stays as well as tourist and visitor accommodation.
Twenty-five other projects were also approved to the combined value of $8 million and including a $740,000 resource transfer station for Access Recycling in Astill Drive.
Planning and development policy committee chairman Russell Turner said that was just the beginning for Orange with almost $70 million worth of development still in front of council staff.
'We're heading the right direction and we've been heading in the right direction for some time now," Cr Turner said.
"This is just an example of continuing to do that."
Sydney-based developers REF Group originally submitted a development application for the Australia Cinema building in December 2019 but later amended the application relating to structural changes at the rear of the building.
Among those changes was a request to allow a height increase in part of the building from the 16-metre standard to 17.8 metres.
Cr Turner said that wasn't an issue, with the building still not as high as the shopping centre behind it.
The approved proposal allows for some demolition at the site and a building addition to the rear to form two new floors for accommodation.
A new facade to Lords Place, including an awning, new paging to the north and south of the building are also included.
External finishes fronting onto Lords Place include aluminium-framed shopfront glazing and painted surrounds and a fluted profile perforated metal screen over the existing facade, above the proposed awning.
One of Orange's oldest buildings, having been built by James Dalton Junior in 1886, the Australia Cinema building has remained largely unchanged since it closed to movie-goers in 2010.
The Orange Evangelical Church bought the building in 2011 with a view to redeveloping the site to hold Sunday services, however the significant investment required made the project unviable.
The building is not listed as a heritage building but is situated in a central heritage conservation area.
Under the proposal for 68-70 Peisley Street, a contemporary-style building will be constructed with basement parking for 32 cars, and a further 17 spaces on ground level along with three apartments and 2 offices.
The first level will house 11 apartments and two more offices with a second level for the remaining 8 apartments.
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