Accommodation and conference centre proposed for Portarlington
GEELONG developer Bill Votsaris wants Portarlington to be the home of the region’s first seven-star accommodation and the host of interstate and international conferences, while creating “significant” employment in the Bellarine town.
Mr Votsaris’ Batman Management Group is proposing to build the multi-storey Drooping Sheoak, named after the Bellarine native, incorporating 72 hotel rooms, function and conference facilities and wellness centre, incorporating a roof-top terrace and underground carparking.
“It’s a first for the Bellarine and something we’re going to be proud of: seven-star accommodation, world-class conference facilities and significant, meaningful, full-time jobs,” Mr Votsaris said.
“It’s been three years in the making; I’m very excited,” he said.
Inspired by Lyndsay Sharp’s Bellarine venues and the Port Phillip Ferries linking Docklands and Portarlington, Mr Votsaris feels “the stars are aligning for a modern Bellarine”.
However, he is also focused on the project providing benefits for local residents, outside jobs and economic growth.
The Geelong Road development, neighboring Jenkins and Son, is proposed to sit on close to an acre with the site created from multiple blocks consolidated onto one title.
The site design will include open space and public access to the beach and parklands, connecting the town with recreational spaces.
The community will be introduced to the project over the next few weeks through online and face-to-face sessions before an application goes to the City of Greater Geelong.
“We’ve taken a different approach with this; I’ve written to the Bellarine Ward councillors to tell them what we’re planning and we will then approach the community, through the media and local associations, and gather feedback from the community first.
“On November 5 there will an online Zoom conference with the architects and planners, and there will be a display at the football club for those who prefer a face-to-face approach.
“Once we’ve had feedback, we’ll lodge the application and what we are proposing is within the planning regulations; we are not asking for any exemptions.”
The development is estimated to be a two-year project from council approval to completion.