SOD TURNING: Developer Alan Winney, left, with Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour and master planner Leigh Ratcliffe turn the first sod at the site that will become The Avenue on Torquay Rd.
SOD TURNING: Developer Alan Winney, left, with Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour and master planner Leigh Ratcliffe turn the first sod at the site that will become The Avenue on Torquay Rd. Alistair Brightman

First sod turned at site of future A-list development

SILVER shovels were used yesterday to turn the first sod at the site of what will become Hervey Bay's most exclusive business address.

PIA Group developer Alan Winney, architect Leigh Ratcliffe and Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour did the honours.

The Avenue, a $10 million development, which consists of 20 high-end office developments along an avenue in Torquay Rd, is expected to become a reality by Easter next year.

Mr Winney said PIA Group were determined follow through on their commitment to build the high-quality office complex in Hervey Bay.

Sod turning at The Avenue - developer Alan Winney.
Sod turning at The Avenue - developer Alan Winney. Alistair Brightman

"This complex here, when completed, will be the best certainly within the Fraser Coast and probably anywhere between the Sunshine Coast and northern part of Queensland,” Mr Winney said.

Concept designs reveal The Avenue's buildings will be built with an upmarket New York loft-style design.

Mr Winney said a recent economic growth in the area was the best indication it was time to give Hervey Bay "the best business centre it deserves.”

He said the complex would be designed around a "Soho-style” community space similar to areas in New York and London. "It looks like old warehouses, but they're brand new buildings... the community feel comes through aspects like the cafe up front, and we've got bike racks out the back,” Mr Winney said.

Sod turning at The Avenue on Torquay Rd.
Sod turning at The Avenue on Torquay Rd. Alistair Brightman

"There aren't too many good office locations up here in Hervey Bay, you can see the businesses crying out for it.

"We've tried to design this complex around the feedback we've had from businesses in the community.”

Mr Ratcliffe said the complex was designed with the intention of having a full street of shade trees and offices, creating a community feeling.

Sod turning at The Avenue - master planner Leigh Ratcliffe.
Sod turning at The Avenue - master planner Leigh Ratcliffe. Alistair Brightman

"Work and life balances had changed, people don't want to be working in substandard offices,” Mr Ratcliffe said.

"You can't attract the best people, you can't get the millennials. "That's the whole idea here, why can't Hervey Bay have a sensational corporate address that the best of the best professionals in Hervey Bay can not only move into and have their own identity, but feel part of a corporate community?”

Construction is expected to begin over the coming months.

The build is expected to be undertaken by a local construction company and contractors.

An article in Thursday's Chronicle incorrectly identified the developer of The Avenue as Glen Winney. This was a result of a mistaken, late proofing change. Alan Winney is the correct developer and Glen Winney has no association with the project. The Chronicle apologises for this error and any confusion it may have caused.



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