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Ballarat station precinct upgrade: Goods Shed conference space open, food hall coming later in 2022

The Courier – Jackson Russell

February 7, 2022

Pellicano development manager Andrew Devlin, Atlantic Group CEO Hatem Saleh, Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle, Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas, Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison, Quest Ballarat Station owner Brendan Du Kamp and Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney outside the Goods Shed.

The opening is a milestone in the project, which also includes a public food and drink hall and is expected to be fully completed in the middle of the year.

The completed space includes a flexible conference area, a 300-seat theatrette and a 240-person function space for weddings and other larger events.

Events have already been booked for the new space with both the City of Ballarat and the Committee for Ballarat planning to host events at the Goods Shed in the coming weeks.

The Carriage Conference Rooms can be used as one, two or three rooms simultaneously.

Meanwhile, construction is set to begin shortly on the food and drinks space, with three out of four tenants locked in.

Boom Time Dumplings, all-day eatery Nolans and Melbourne-based gin distillery Little Lon Distilling Co have been confirmed for the food hall.

However, a fourth spot for a microbrewery is now open after Ballarat’s Dollar Bill Brewing pulled out of the project late last year.

The Goods Shed will be managed by the Atlantic Group, with construction to be completed by Pellicano.

The Atlantic Group chief executive Hatem Saleh said the search for a fourth tenant would not delay the opening of the food hall and discussions with breweries were ongoing.

“Around about June (we hope to open it). Three of the tenants are locked and loaded and we’ve just got one more to go, which is the microbrewery, but in terms of construction, plans are underway, construction will commence pretty shortly and then we’ll be ready by mid-year,” he said.

“Like any normal precinct, when the last tenant comes in, they come in, but at this stage, we’re focused on the middle of the year. That won’t sort of stop anything from continuing and we’ll keep things moving along.”

Mr Saleh said the Atlantic Group itself would employ about 200 people at the Goods Shed, with the whole precinct to employ up to 400 people upon its completion.

The Goods Shed is part of the wider state government-funded Ballarat Station precinct redevelopment, with the whole project costing about $28 million.

This part of the Goods Shed will become the food hall and is expected to open in the middle of the year.

The station redevelopment includes a public plaza, a multi-level car park with more than 400 free spaces, an additional 150 car parks for Quest Ballarat Station, the Goods Shed and a bus interchange.

Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas said the Goods Shed would be the new centre of Ballarat.

“What I’ve been really blown away by is how the builders and the architects have really respected the history of this incredible building and highlighted it so much that I’m sure local people are really going to delight in it,” she said.

“What we have now is a state-of-the-art, contemporary events facility in a beautiful, historic building that will speak to the history of this beautiful city and the people who have lived here for generations.”

Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison said the building sat neglected not too long ago.

“Today, we’ve brought the pride back to the Goods Shed. This is a very special day for Ballarat. It’s a very special recognition of our history of relying on the rail as an emerging city and I’m so proud that we are going to share that for centuries to come,” she said.

The 300-seat Terminus Theatre is expected to host music, plays and talks.

Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney said previous generations would just walk past the building, but future generations would be having 21st birthdays and wedding receptions in it.

“This is a place that’s going to be used again and it’s just an incredible, beautiful old building repurposed,” he said.

“We actually have the ability for people to stay at Quest, walk across to have a business convention here and it brings a whole new market to Ballarat.

“That business market is something that we really haven’t properly tapped into. We were getting close, then COVID hit and now as we start to emerge from COVID, we’ve got the facilities to do it.”

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