Demolition of the Albany Woolstores — once described by site owner Mark Dyson as an “eyesore” — will finally be completed within a couple of months. Albany residents and visitors alike have watched the 66-year-old structure slowly come down since demolition began in October 2021. The process has involved the careful and costly removal of asbestos from cement sheeting panels that formed part of the structure, which has sat on the waterfront since the mid-1900s. “As far as the wooden and steel structure, that should be completed in the next two months at the latest,” Mr Dyson said. “I’d say about 85 per cent of the structure has come down and that will just leave the two major concrete pads that we need to get into and recycle.” The update from Mr Dyson comes after the City of Albany put a draft structure plan for the Albany Woolstores Precinct out for public comment this week. Mr Dyson’s development company Mainbeam owns most of the 16.3ha covered by the plan, except for sections of road reserve and crown land. He said his company had been working with the City and the State Government on the plan. “The one we’ve put forward is the one that most were very comfortable with and can see was an achievable outcome,” he said. “It’s a long-term outcome because of the size of the site, and that’s a good thing because it will evolve with the community and life in general.” The plan has 1100sqm of retail floor space and 14000sqm for non-retail purposes, with an estimated potential for between 215-330 dwellings. Mr Dyson said he thought Albany was “well overdue” for an area that mixed quality retail, residential and tourism. “We’ve seen post-COVID that the world has well and truly opened up to the point where we are getting a lot more people moving out of metropolitan areas into regional areas,” he said. “That’s been a big key in driving the mixture of the accommodation and/or planning we put on site.” The plan includes the possibility of eight-storey buildings fronting the harbour. Mr Dyson said he had come around to the idea after initially thinking it could look like “a pimple on a pumpkin”. “We used to have a four-storey wool store there, which was still well below the skyline,” he said. “The eight storeys would still be well below the height of the (under construction) overpass and we’ve done a great amount of work taking into account vision from certain points, like Mt Melville, and it sits under those as well.” He said every box had been ticked along the way so far and he was excited to share his vision with the wider community. He said he believed Albany “was ready” for a major development on the proposed scale. “It’s almost ironic given I’ve been affiliated with the Albany Woolstores since I was a child, going down there with my father for wool sales and still being in the wool industry that we’re going to move this site well into the 21st century in the years to come,” he said. Speaking to the Advertiser in February 2021, Mr Dyson said he had been working on a feasibility study since late 2020 to investigate the removal of the deteriorating structure. “I am fully aware that it is an eyesore,” he said at the time.