The evolution of Geelong into a hub for culture and innovation continues to gain momentum with the launch of Franzé Developments’ $150 million Geelong Quarter precinct – the most significant mixed-use project on the Bellarine Peninsula, including the largest new hotel in the region in almost 20 years.
Located at 44 Ryrie Street at the intersection of Fenwick Street, the 2,700 square metre gateway site will comprise Holiday Inn & Suites Geelong (a 180- room hotel), the Ryrie Residences (14 luxury apartments targeted at owneroccupiers), a 1,000 square metre retail plaza and 7,400 square metres of state-of-the-art commercial office space, all connected by a vibrant and highly activated street level plane.
Ideally positioned in the heart of the city’s cultural precinct with a unique northerly aspect overlooking Corio Bay, Geelong Quarter will breathe new life into the south-western end of Ryrie Street. Designed by Architectus, Geelong Quarter will form a visual gateway to the city centre and will be an active hub for 1,500 residents, workers and visitors each day.
Paul Franzé, founder and managing Director of Franzé Developments, says that Geelong Quarter will provide a level of culture and connection unmatched anywhere else in the fast-growing regional city.
“Geelong Quarter aims to create a new destination for the city centre,” Mr Franzé said.
“As Geelong continues to experience rapid growth in population and visitation, it is increasingly important to create a new link between the CBD, the arts precinct and the bay to ensure Geelong remains a highly desirable international waterfront city, with world-class facilities.
“There’s nothing like this in Geelong – it is our vision that this project will help to drive the city forward.
“Over 5.3 million visitors come to Geelong annually and 2.2 million are overnight visitors.
“The strong owner-occupier market, combined with the population boom, means there’s demand to cater for visitors to the city, as well as residents and workers.
“Geelong Quarter has been designed with this in mind, to cultivate significant activity that will add incredible value to the city.”
Matthew Smith, managing principal at Architectus, says Geelong Quarter embraces the future direction of Geelong while drawing inspiration from its history, with a modern take on industrial-influenced design.
“The gateway corner location has been stitched into the fabric of the city, linking pedestrian connections through the site to the adjacent cultural precinct, and activating the surrounding neighbourhood,” Mr Smith said.
“The design draws on the history and architectural vernacular of the area, including the iconic wool stores of Geelong.
“The restrained palette of materials consists of folded metals, rich textured concrete, recessive glazing, local hardwood, and hand-laid brick.
“Brick was selected for the podium and street wall for its robust materiality and strong compositional order, reflected in many significant buildings in the city.”
The orientation of the site forms an 80 metre northern frontage to Ryrie Street with a physical split, creating a public thoroughfare linking Ryrie Street to Cuzens Place.
The tower elements vary in height across the precinct, with subtle articulation of each component’s personality throughout the design.
The Ryrie Residences will be accessed via a private residential lobby on Ryrie Street, the 14 Ryrie Residences have been designed to incorporate a hotel lifestyle in a generously appointed home.
Located on levels 11 to 14, the distinguished residences are priced from $735,000 to $2.175 million and range in size from 98 square metres to 184 square metres (internal) with spacious balconies.
The offices at 44 Ryrie will be home to around 600 office workers when fully occupied, the 7,400 square metre office space over 10 levels will be accessed via an impressive double-height lobby fronting Ryrie Street.
The Geelong Quarter retail component will feature a number of retail tenancies located on the ground level facing both Ryrie Street and Fenwick Street.
Tenants will comprise a diverse mix of quality operators such as cafes, a wine bar and services for the wider CBD community.
In a coup for Geelong’s hotel and tourism sector, Geelong Quarter will feature the $75 million Holiday Inn & Suites Geelong – the first in Australia and the largest new hotel project in the region in almost 20 years.
The 180-room hotel will feature a sky lobby, pool, gym, restaurant, bar and café and is scheduled to open in mid to late 2020. Construction of Geelong Quarter is scheduled to start in late 2018.
The Geelong Quarter display suite is located at 78 Little Malop Street, Geelong, and will be open on Thursday from 4.30-6pm and on Saturday between 1-3pm. For more information on Geelong Quarter, head to geelongquarter.com.au or Franze Developments’ website at franzedevelopments.com.au.