On the eve of the DA for the Akuna St/Mitre 10 being lodged, The Bugle has spoken exclusively with the developer/builder of the site about the scope of the plans.
In return for bringing a long awaited second supermarket (Aldi) to Kiama, as well as connectivity to Terralong St, Nick Daoud will be asking for the Joint Regional Planning Panel to approve 91 units, a much bigger number than expected.
Mr Daoud says the site has been the most challenging of his 35 year career in development, given not only its topography but also the council stipulations that had to be met.
“We needed to study the job from all aspects, and believe that we are delivering something that does justice to Council’s aims without dominating the streetscape,” he says.
His engineering background and experience on much bigger projects means he is confident that a workable solution has been found for all aspects of the site.
“If you didn’t have our experience you couldn’t do this development,” he says.
“Since the conception of the job we have been consulting with Council to solve everything from traffic management issues to noise abatement.”
His company is four months away from finishing the four tower 317 unit and commercial precinct at the old Dwyers site in Wollongong, and has recently broken ground at its Bathers’ site on the corner of Manning and Bong Bong Sts.
The plans for the $35 million new development show the Mitre 10 site facing Terralong St as two storeys of retail space, with an arcade leading from street level around to an Aldi on the Akuna St site (at a level below the current carpark because of the slope).
The main entrance to the Aldi will be through an underground carpark accessed via Shoalhaven St.
Above that will be a carpark for residents and an acoustically sealed delivery dock for the retail area, accessed from Akuna Street.
The floors above that will house the two and three bedroom units, expected to sell for $600,000 to $800,000.
Mr Daoud is keen to stress the bulk of the development will not be visible from the main street, as it will be hidden behind existing shops.
While acknowledging some of the development exceeds the height limits, he says it is necessary to achieve the objectives of the site consolidation.
“The trees on our side of Akuna St are taller than our proposal, so it won’t interrupt the view,” he says.
The developer, who has been holidaying in Kiama for 30 years, is hopeful of the project being approved by the Regional Planning Panel by mid year. If this happens, an 18 month build will see the building completed by the end of 2018.
Aldi will not open until the entire project is complete.
Council’s sale of the properties is dependent on the DA being approved.
The DA comes at a time another DA has been lodged for a 60 unit DA in Kiama’s CBD.