Ballina flats make way for boardwalk
By BREE PRICE
THE GOLDEN Eagle flats at Ballina are set to be demolished, making way for the construction of the missing link in the Richmond River boardwalk.
The flats, that have no public access to the riverfront, will be replaced by a $3 million multilevel residential development set to include a 20m riverside boardwalk.
The boardwalk will link with the existing walkway on either side.
The new development, to be built on the site at 6 Fawcett Street, will consist of six levels with five single-floor units and a parking level.
In granting development consent at last Thursday's council meeting, Ballina Shire councillors agreed to add a condition that the boardwalk must be the maximum possible width and made of masonry material.
In the original proposal the walkway was to be timber and 2.7m wide.
But Cr Sharon Cadwallader proposed the extra width and construction condition to give cyclists and recreational fishers more room to be able to use the boardwalk together.
"It's a fantastic development to clear that site up, but we need room for cyclists and fishers," she said.
Cr Peter Moore also voiced his support for redevelopment of the site.
"I love the style of the building and we have always described the Golden Eagle as one piece out of the puzzle," he said.
Architect Alan Logan said he and the developer, John Fitzgerald, would look into the possibility of extending the width of the boardwalk, during negotiations with Ballina Shire Council staff.
He said construction was expected to begin at about this time next year, with completion set for the end of 2006.
He said the units were not yet on the market, but he expected them to sell for more than $1 million each.
John Fitzgerald has owned The Golden Eagle Flats, built in 1962, for about 10 years and said he always had plans to develop the site.
As the developer, Mr Fitzgerald will fund the construction of the boardwalk, but he will effectively donate the land and walkway to Ballina Shire Council who will have the responsibility of maintenance.