SEVERAL parties have already submitted expressions of interest (EOI) in the redevelopment of the old TAFE site, just two months after the invitation was issued.
It comes as Bathurst Regional Council opens up the historic TAFE building to the community.
A tour of the building was held on Friday, allowing people to take a look inside and find out more about how it was used.
Council opened up the EOI phase in late September, inviting suitable parties to submit their ideas for the future use of not just the building, but the entire site.
Director of Environmental, Planning and Building Services, Neil Southorn, said council is "pretty happy so far" with the interest in the EOI documentation and has already received genuine proposals.
"There's a formal part to that process. The people who want to lodge an EOI have to meet certain criteria and consequently, not everyone who has downloaded the documents to have a look will take that next step, but already some of those people have taken that next step," he said.
The future of the site is wide open, with council saying that the objectives for the redevelopment include the creation of a new public community plaza/square, possible use by performing arts functions and other community and cultural functions, to open up the site and link it to the wider area through access ways.
Developers would also be able to demolish parts of the site that have little to no heritage significance.
"It's important to appreciate that there is the highly significant parts of the old TAFE precinct, and then there's buildings behind that vary in their significance, and right at the other end they aren't very significant at all," Mr Southorn said.
"That gives scope for those who are thinking of lodging an EOI, but adaptive reuse is focused on the most significant parts of the building and it provides opportunities for development in parts that aren't facing the street."
There have also been additions inside the TAFE building over the years, such as walls, that could be removed to open the space up.
Interested parties will have until February 15 to submit their EOI.
Council will come up with a shortlist of proponents in Mid 2023, and make a request for more detailed design proposals.
A final design will be selected by council in late 2023.
Depend on when a development application is prepared and approved, which could be done by the state government, construction could start as early as 2024.
Mr Southorn is confident the process will result in the old TAFE building being put to good use, and he credited the last group of councillors for their efforts to establish the EOI process.
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