An artist’s impression of the Globe Lane arcade building. This vision for Wollongong’s new-look Globe Lane arcade is part of a larger plan to pump blood into the city’s heart.

Wollongong City Council has approved Veraz Enterprises’ development application to remodel the 54-year-old building and bring it into the 21st century.

It follows on from GPT’s plan, announced last month, to turn the stretch into a bustling laneway in readiness for the opening of its nearby mega shopping complex, West Keira, in 2014.

Building designer Jason Godfrey said yesterday he had taken on board the idea of a multi-purpose entertainment hub to energise the laneway.

“My design is simple, elegant, and integrated with the laneway area so it should appeal to people of all ages,” he said.

In 2003 Veraz Enterprises, then headed by Vince Zarev, bought the 54-year-old building from the Slater family.

Mr Zarev died in June last year and a fellow director, who does not want to be identified, is now considering options to either lease or sell the building.

She described Mr Godfrey’s design as impressive.

“The building has been neglected for a few years because of Vince’s illness,” the director said.

“We always thought with its history and location it had great potential, and Jason’s designs are a good start for investors.”

Mr Godfrey worked in collaboration with council’s revitalisation team who wanted to see the building integrated with the laneway at every level.

“They gave me the idea to activate the ground level with things like wine bars, art spaces and food outlets,” he said.

“The next level is a more sophisticated level where you could, for instance, take clients for a drink or coffee to discuss business, something which is lacking now in Wollongong.”

The third level is for professional office space with, like the two lower levels, a verandah to connect with the action below.

Agent Viktor Desovski from Colliers said location, timing and DA approval made this a highly desirable property.

It is expected the site will go for auction but no date or price guide has been set.

GPT bought No 1 Globe Lane in 2007 for $3.2 million.

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