Initial steps to build a long-awaited senior housing development in Deniliquin have started.
Works to prepare the site for development — the railway land bordered by Harfleur, Hardinge, Poictiers and Napier Sts — started Monday.
In the meantime, Edward River Council general manager Adam McSwain said council was reviewing expressions of interest from developers to design and build the facility.
‘‘The work taking place is to level the site, including removing the remaining remnants of the old station platforms and filling in the area where the turntable was located.
‘‘The works are expected to take three to four weeks, and will be undertaken by Northern Constructions Group.
‘‘We then expect to connect services (like water and sewerage) to the site in February and March.
‘‘We are trying to complete these works with minimal impact to nearby businesses and residences.’’
Weather permitting, works will be undertaken between 7am and 5pm Monday to Saturday.
Mr McSwain said work had started on the portion of the block council already owns, funded through council’s share of the Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program.
He said the council had also been given conditional approval to undertake some preparatory works on the second parcel of land, on which council is in the final stages of negotiating ownership.
Mr McSwain said council hopes to engage a developer to ‘‘take over from there’’.
Council employed consultants Brand Partners and Equity One to search for a developer and operator of the proposed senior housing facility in November.
‘‘We had a reasonable level of interest in people looking at the opportunity (to tender),’’ Mr McSwain said.
‘‘We had interest, when it was open, from across NSW and Victoria, and from others interstate.
‘‘The initial step we need to take now is through that expressions of interest process, and then to negotiate with council’s preferred option.
‘‘The developer will then need to go through all the processes of getting planning permits.
‘‘It is through this process, and in discussion with council, the developer will also come up with a design. We intend to leave that open and see what opportunities are available to us.
‘‘Assuming the negotiations go well, we hope we can appoint a developer in the first half of this year.’’
Mr McSwain said expressions of interest applications were received from companies which can both develop and manage the facility.