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Work begins on Lismore’s big new office tower

Turning the first sod at 214 Molesworth Street, Lismore, are (l-r) Bennett Constructions director Darryl Piper, Chamber of Commerce president Andrew Gordon, Lismore City Council’s executive director sustainable development Brent McAlister and Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell.

Turning the first sod at 214 Molesworth Street, Lismore, are (l-r) Bennett Constructions director Darryl Piper, Chamber of Commerce president Andrew Gordon, Lismore City Council’s executive director sustainable development Brent McAlister and Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell.

Construction on Lismore’s biggest commercial development in over a decade begins next week when the Bennett Constructions multi-million-dollar office block gets underway in Molesworth Street.

This morning (Friday) at 10am, Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell and Bennett Constructions director Darryl Piper will officially turn the first sod of the new development to mark the occasion.

The four-storey, 16-metre high office building will be built at a cost of around $9 million and will house three floors of commercial office space and a ground-floor carpark and café.

The Molesworth Street block has been vacant for more than 50 years and mayor Jenny Dowell said the development would provide huge economic stimulus for the CBD.

‘This is the first development of its kind in 15 years, and we are thrilled to see work begin’, she said.

‘This block has been an eyesore for many years, and instead we will now have modern commercial office space, improving the city’s streetscape and bringing hundreds of workers into the CBD.’

Council’s executive director sustainable development, Brent McAlister, said the new development was positive for the CBD and reflected council’s desire to facilitate new development wherever possible.

‘This development, combined with the recent $10 million makeover of Lismore Central Shopping Centre, shows great confidence in our CBD, which was also highlighted in the recently launched Lismore Prospectus’, Brent said.

‘A-grade office space like this and serviced apartments are key to supporting our professional services. Council is working extremely hard on both through a proactive “red carpet” rather that “red tape” approach.’

Bennett Constructions director Mr Piper said the project was a joint venture with another long-standing Lismore business, WCA Chartered Accountants.

Bennett Constructions have undertaken many major regional building projects such as Ballina's Reside Living apartments, also being built this year.

Bennett Constructions have undertaken many major regional building projects such as Ballina’s Reside Living apartments, also being built this year.

He said Bennetts and WCA had a combined trading history of 170 years in Lismore, and this project demonstrated a vote of confidence in Lismore as the regional centre of the northern rivers.

‘This is an extremely exciting project for us, especially to have complete control over the design and being able to incorporate so many environmentally sustainable features’, Mr Piper said.

He also said there was still a significant area of floor space available for tenancies and he hoped to have the building fully tenanted upon completion.

Work on the 4,133-square-metre building is expected to take around 12 months. Mr Piper said they hope to see tenants moving in by March 2017.


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