In October, 2017, the Geelong Advertiser reported that Thomas Jewellers was going to shut its Moorabool Street store. They said:
Mr Votsaris, in partnership with Federal Woollen Mills developer Cameron Hamilton, is eyeing off the creation of a boutique hotel on the site.
I got photos of that empty building in June, 2018.
Around the same time, I started keeping an eye on the wall at the Malop Street end of Shorts Place. In 2020, I noticed that a new door. This was around the same time that a redevelopment was announced.