A $350M sport precinct has been given the green light by the Victorian Government, setting the state up for a winner combination for future sports events and training education.
Set to be located just off the Great Ocean Road in the Surf Coast Shire in Modewarre, south-west of Geelong, the elite sport precinct will be developed by Australia (CORA), with co-founders Daryl Pelchen and Oliva Tipler at the wheel.
Billed as a sport and tourism hub, the precinct will feature multiple playfields, gymnasiums, cardio and weight rooms, as well as indoor courts and an aquatic centre. Rounding out the amenities will be a yoga studio, virtual-reality training rooms and community facilities.
In addition to the physical side of the facility, this state-of-the-art development will also include a sports science hub that comprises tertiary education and allied health facilities for recover, talent identification, research and education.
But it’s not all training and learning, a 128-room hotel, microbrewery, art galleries, eco-museum, farmers market and organic farm, which will provide food for onsite restaurants, will be a part of the larger scheme.
Currently housing a series of dwellings, including a decommissioned chicken farm, the project will break ground in early 2021, with Multiplex responsible for construction. Designed by Willams Boag Architects, the initial plans have been subject to extensive public consultation and assessment by an independent advisory committee. The final plans were approved, after removing a surfing wave pool, a number of dwellings and reducing the size of some of the onsite amenities, due to its proximity to a 250-acre wetland conservation precinct.
Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne said the conditions put on the development will strengthen the protection of existing wetlands, native vegetation and known habitat for the endangered Growling Grass Frog.
“We’ve listened to the community during the assessment process to ensure the final development is one that sits well in the landscape and builds on what we all love about the Surf Coast.”
Over seven years in the making, Pelchen states, “Catering for over 350,000 visitors annually, CORA’s ambition is to become the front door to the shipwreck coast and south west Victoria, assisting to signpost the region’s attractions and significantly improve the tourism economy.
“It will be design-led and is intended to become an exemplary sustainable environment and a resource for the community that will provide strong social benefits.”
Chief executive of the G21 Geelong Region Alliance, Elaine Carbines, said CORA illustrates a genuine collaboration between industry and stakeholders.
“It has the potential to significantly add to the local regional economy by $103 million each year at a time when it is needed most, not only through the three-year build but continuing on during operation.”
Victorian Tourism Industry Council chief executive Felicia Mariani said the project offered an incredible opportunity for the Great Ocean Road area.
“This development delivers the much-needed anchor products that encourage tourists to stop and engage with the area for longer periods of time and, importantly, to spend more in the region,” Mariani said.
“The attraction of CORA will serve to increase visitation and spend in the region at a time when the industry is struggling under the impacts of the recent bushfires and Covid-19.”
Images via The Urban Developer