A development application to change the use of one of the Nowra CBD's most iconic properties, the former Spotlight building, has been lodged with Shoalhaven City Council.
Lee Carmichael, of PDC Planners, has lodged the application for the split-level commercial building with frontage to Berry Street, Emporium Lane and Stewart Place, for new owners Fatseas Investments.
The application is to change the building's use from retail to commercial/office space and include a small Cafe.
All three levels of the historic, heritage significant building, will be utilised, with a price tag of $1.5 million for the work.
Fatseas Investments purchased the building, which was originally known as Richmond House or The People's Emporium and has been home to numerous businesses such as Woodhills, Mates, Emmotts, JB Youngs or Grace Brothers and most recently Sportlight, in December last year.
The two-storey Victorian building built in Berry Street, Nowra by well-known local builder John Schadel in 1888 for John McArthur, a pioneer in the commercial life of Shoalhaven, is set to be given a new lease on life.
The building has sat idle for many years since Spotlight relocated to South Nowra in 2015.
The proposal involves the reconfiguration of the interior of the building into a series of separate tenancies.
In a proposal that will increase the amount of office space and provide the opportunity for additional employment within the Nowra CBD, the plan is to reconfigure the interior over both levels into a series of offices and shops.
The plan will including the removal of some internal walls and the installation of a lift to service the proposed commercial offices, with the central stairs will be retained and refurbished.
The lower level ground floor will be specifically fitted out for use as solicitors offices, with two spaces one 520 square metres and the other 232 square metres.
There will also be a common area of 299 square metres.
The first floor, or ground level off Berry Street, will have three separate offices, one 264 square metres, another 408 square metres and the third 636 square metres.
There will also be 350 square metres of common space, while a 50 square metre cafe area is also proposed off Berry Street.
The former residence on the first level could also cater for 218 square metres of office space.
It is planned for the building to undergo facade restoration works and be upgraded to meet relevant National Construction Code and Disabled Access standards.
While facade improvement and restoration works are proposed, there will be no substantial changes to the Berry Street streetscape, with the original shopfront and entry on Berry Street retained and restored.
Off Emporium Lane, changes will be made to the ground floor veranda to accommodate ramp access from Berry Street to comply with accessible entry.
The external stair and door entry from the Emporium Lane ground floor will also be removed, with a new doorway to the ground floor elevation on Emporium Lane.
The exterior of the building would also be repainted.
There are no plans to substantially reconfigure the car parking to the eastern end of the site adjacent to Stewart Place.