Plans for a new five star hotel, office building and redevelopment of the City Diggers site have been revealed.
A $230 million transformation of one of the city's worst eyesores will see the former David Jones building turned into a 15-storey, five star hotel.
The plans, developed by MMJ Town Planning & Advisory, Wollongong-based ADM Architects and Sydney firm Jackson Teece are in the final stages of preparation before lodgement with Wollongong City Council, to occur in the coming days.
"Wollongong has been longing for a revitalisation project of this magnitude, and 'The Globe' is poised to exceed all expectations," Luke Rollinson, director of MMJ Town Planning & Advisory said. "This multi-storey masterpiece will not only elevate the aesthetics of our city centre but also invigorate the local economy and create countless opportunities for our community."
The partners, acting on behalf of The Globe consortium of investors and property owners, say the development will transform the city centre and open up key routes in the CBD.
Covering 5400 square metres, the project stretches from Crown Street Mall to Burelli Street along Church Street and will replace the former David Jones building, the adjoining carpark and the current City Diggers building.
After a vote by the members of the Diggers Club - owned by Wollongong Golf Club - on September 21, the land the club sits on will be sold to the consortium.
The developers will then demolish the current building and rebuild on the site a six storey club and 114-room motel building leased to and operated by Wollongong Golf Club. The ground floor will remain the premises of the City Diggers.
"We are excited to be part of such an innovative development that will change the face of Wollongong's CBD and reinvigorate our city," CEO of Wollongong Golf Club Leigh Hingston said.
"The Globe project helps us realise a strong and vibrant future for our clubs."
The club and developer will make a future decision on the location of the memorial that currently sits at the corner of Church and Burelli streets.
The site of the former David Jones car park will be turned into an eight storey office building with 8300 square metres of a-grade floor space.
Lead architect Angelo Di Martino, director of ADM Architects, said structures within the development would use innovative design practices, including a mass timber construction in the office tower.
"This landmark location has allowed us to push the boundaries of architectural innovation, merging form and function to create an iconic masterpiece that will stand the test of me," he said.
On the corner of Church and Crown streets will sit the five star, 236 room hotel. Topped with a publicly accessible skybar and pool, the hotel will include a range of room sizes including suites on the upper floors.
"Wollongong has long been a destination with untapped potential, and the lack of sufficient, quality accommodation has been a limiting factor," Mr Rollinson said. "'The Globe' will bridge this gap in supply, offering tourists and visitors a world-class stay right in the heart of the city."
At ground level, the hotel building will be fringed with outward-facing bars, restaurants and retail stores, activating the currently 150 metres of boarded up street frontage since the mass vaccination centre closed.
Mr Di Martino added that Wollongong shoppers and diners would also find new ways into the vibrant Globe Lane precinct, with the developers proposing to remove the bridge above Globe Lane - connecting the David Jones building and carpark - to increase accessibility, let in light and improve security, while also extending the north-south running Globe Lane through to Crown Street. Accessibility improvements will also enable step-free access between Crown Street and Burelli Street via Globe Way
"The whole intention is to transform the lane, as it's been transformed on its western edge, and extend that vibrancy to Church Street," he said.
The project will also remove the unused bridge between the David Jones building and the carpark to the north, over Crown Street and above H&M, thereby creating views up and down Crown Street from Keira Street to the ocean and from Crown Street to Burelli Street and Maccabe Park via the extended Globe Way.
"The idea is creating an additional link will create a better line of sight for the community and for visitors to explore and investigate, to entice people to get down into Globe Lane," Mr Rollinson said.
During the concept development phase, Indigenous consultancy FCAD was engaged to incorporate local traditional knowledge into the design and placemaking, including Indigenous art, language and endemic planting as well as employment and skills development.
The $230 million development expects to create 1171 full time jobs with 472 direct roles on the project.
Additional retail and visitor spending is estimated at $30 million.
Once plans are lodged with Wollongong City Council and opened to community feedback the development application will be determined by the Southern Regional Planning Panel.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.