Gawler Place upgrade gets goahead as price tag skyrockets f
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