Gawler Place up­grade gets goa­head as price tag sky­rock­ets f

The Advertiser - - NEWS - SIMEON THOMAS-WIL­SON UR­BAN AF­FAIRS RE­PORTER

AN UP­GRADE to one of the CBD’s busiest pedes­trian thor­ough­fares will go ahead, as Ade­laide City Coun­cil pledges nearly $17 mil­lion re­viv­ing it.

At a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing on Satur­day, called to try to save the Gawler Place project as costs more than dou­bled from the orig­i­nal $7.85 mil­lion, the coun­cil ap­proved a $16.96 mil­lion bud­get to re­de­velop the busy strip be­tween North Tce and Gren­fell St.

The blowout was caused by com­plex­i­ties around un­der­ground ser­vices in the street that forced the coun­cil to put the up­grade on hold in July and seek al­ter­na­tive pro­pos­als.

The week­end meet­ing was con­fi­den­tial due to con­tract is­sues but, in a state­ment dis­trib­uted later, Lord Mayor Martin Haese said the up­grade would de­liver a high-qual­ity space with widened foot­paths, new paving, green­ing and light­ing.

“Gawler Place is used by city work­ers, tourists, de­liv­ery and pri­vate ve­hi­cles, taxis, peo­ple ac­cess­ing car parks and ac­ces­si­ble park­ing,” he said.

“So it is vi­tal that this up­grade caters to all of th­ese users, and sup­ports the di­verse busi­ness needs in the street.”

It will also in­clude gran­ite paved park­ing, new storm- wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture, cus­tom de­signed street fur­ni­ture, bol­lards and pub­lic art.

The ex­tra $9 mil­lion plus which is now set aside to fund the project, which is set to start con­struc­tion in the first three months of next year and take a year to com­plete, will be funded through sav­ings from other projects and a small in­crease in the coun­cil’s bor­row­ings.

Long-term cham­pion of the project, Coun­cil­lor Natasha Malani, said the re­build would trans­form the street and an anal­y­sis un­der­taken through a busi­ness case had pre­dicted the ratepayer spend to cre­ate over $40 mil­lion of in­vest­ment.

“We are now call­ing on prop­erty own­ers on the street to make their own in­vest­ment and bring the place alive,” Ms Malani said.

The up­grade of Gawler Place was part of the 2011 Run­dle Mall mas­ter­plan.

GREEN LIGHT: An artist’s im­pres­sion of a re­de­vel­oped d l d Gawler l Place. l

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