Mate’s heading up to Volt Lane

PLANS have been unveiled to extend the Albury Mate’s building on the car park next to Volt Lane.

It will continue the two-storey building fronting Kiewa Street in a similar style, with columns, and with a parapet at a similar height to the older sections, stepped up at Volt Lane.

Large windows will be placed in the Kiewa Street and Volt lane frontages to serve both floors.

An escalator is part of the design as well as a loading dock to AMP Lane.

Crowe Horwath Property Securities last month applied to Albury Council to redevelop the landmark building on the corner of Dean and Kiewa streets and to extend it at a total cost of $3.2 million and, subject to approval, work could start in June.

The new two-storey section will house retailer Store on the first level, with another tenant being sought for the ground floor.

Retailer Harris Scarfe was revealed in April as the new tenant for the long-vacant upstairs section.

Key ground floor and basement tenants include JB Hi-Fi, Trade Secret and Lincraft.

Albury historian Bruce Pennay is largely in favour of the proposed changes, saying the design had his “tick” of approval.

“I think this design is sympathetic to the features of the Mate’s building,” Dr Pennay said.

“I think it shows respect for the building by incorporating the principal style features.”

Dr Pennay’s only concern was the illuminated signs planned for the exterior, which he thought could detract from it.

Proton Developments sold the Mate’s building in 2011 to WHK, now trading as Crowe Horwath, a year after it had been passed in at auction at $13 million.

Crowe Horwath Property Securities senior manager Julie Perry said the company was entering into a contract with Proton to buy the land next door to the Mate’s building, which has been temporarily fenced off since before Christmas.

“We’ll be buying that land and building an extension to the south end of Mate’s,” she said.

“We’re trying to be respectful of the building’s heritage and continue that line of windows along the facade.”

Business owner Pat Parnell welcomed the plan.

“It’s a good idea — you can’t stop progress,” he said.