What's happening to the Commercial Hotel development in Yass?

The Commercial Hotel redevelopment has taken longer than planned but it "is happening," according to its developer. Photo: supplied
The Commercial Hotel redevelopment has taken longer than planned but it "is happening," according to its developer. Photo: supplied

The Commercial Hotel redevelopment “is happening”, says Michael Rastegorac, managing director at Macro Property Group in Sydney, who bought the property in November 2017.

He was waiting on plans from Sydney architects this week to provide a development application (DA) to the council this month. “It’s taken longer than planned. It’s not an easy project. The property needs a lot of work,” Mr Rastegorac said.

It would in some ways be easier to build from the ground up rather than redevelop the building, because of its condition, he said.

Last drinks were served at the hotel in 2005. Neglect and vandalism have seen the building fall into disrepair. Over time, residents have become frustrated at seeing one of the town’s iconic landmarks left in such a state.

Yass Valley Council director of planning Chris Berry said they had no control over the time frame of the redevelopment. “Restoration is in the hands of the land owner,” he said.

Mr Rastegorac had originally intended to submit a DA to council by April or May 2018, but was delayed by a lengthy property settlement, said Independent Property sales consultant Graham Bush, who listed the property.

The back of the property will be turned into two bedroom units, according to Mr Rastegorac. Photo: supplied

The back of the property will be turned into two bedroom units, according to Mr Rastegorac. Photo: supplied

Settlement was due mid-2018, but so far only contracts have been exchanged, Mr Bush said, which Mr Rastegorac confirmed.

Warren Hall, former owner of the Commercial Hotel, has been helping with plans to get the project moving ahead, Mr Rastegorac said. Mr Bush has also been advising on the plans and will be the agent selling the units in the plans.

The preliminary plans include a two-storey complex containing six to eight, two-bedrooms units with a lift and garage underneath, at the back of the property. A commercial business, possibly four shops and a restaurant, will go where the hotel used to be, with a 20-room-plus motel above.

Mr Rastegorac said he had wanted to start with the units, but the council wanted to see plans for the whole property first. He had also wanted to get the shop front ready for lease, but the veranda above needed to be completely rebuilt.

If approved, Mr Rastegorac said he would lock-in buyers for the units before beginning construction.