Plans for a townhouse development in a highly sought after central Wodonga location could prove a saviour for a local church community.
The site of the current St John’s Lutheran Church in Havelock Street will be transformed into modern townhouses, with all profits going towards the building of a new church and facilities at Victory Lutheran College.
Parish Council member Tim McInnes says the development proposal is the result of a generous offer by local builder Alatalo Bros.
“Looking at the property as it stood, it was facing some huge, costly maintenance issues,” Tim said.
“There’s also a need at the college for the mission and ministry side of things for the students and families, so to build a new church at the school was certainly one of the best options for us.
“The Alatalos offered to develop the site at Havelock Street. They will cover all their build costs of course, but at the end of the day, we’ll have this site developed with all profits derived from it allowing us to build a new church for free.
“Without the Alatalos and their generous offer, the church would continue as we are at the present time, and ultimately be facing huge maintenance bills in years to come.”
Mike Alatalo says his family’s connection with the church proved the catalyst for the project.
“Particularly my Uncle John Alatalo – he’s always been heavily involved in the church and always doing fundraising activities for the church, and this just takes it to another level,” Mike said.
The project is at ‘expressions of interest’ stage, but is already generating interest from investors and potential residents seeking a central Wodonga townhouse.
“It’s a great location, one hundred metres from the Cube and the library and walking distance to good restaurants,” Mike said.
“It’s very early days and we still haven’t got a one-hundred per-cent design locked in, so we’ll wait for feedback from people about what they want.
“Hopefully the interest keeps coming. We’d need ten solid clients to then proceed to working drawings and spend some more money and go forward with the project,” he said.
Nordcon is another local business which has donated time and resources to the development, undertaking all the civil work at no charge.
For more information on Alatalo Bros visit: http://alatalobros.com.au/