Welcome support for revitalisation of city’s CBD
A REPORT in Investor today that the State Government is supporting development of top-grade office space in the CBD is great news.
Townsville City Council is also supporting revitalis- ation of the CBD and is considering incentives to help kick-start development.
Whether the political rhetoric translates to real support remains to be seen.
For example, state-owned corporation Ergon Energy, which is seeking about 6800sq m for an administrative headquarters, is making no guarantees it will take up space in the CBD.
Ergon CEO Ian McLeod said the organisation was working on the criteria for its requirements which would probably include a need for vicinity to the airport and accommodation.
‘‘ We are there to see what the market has to offer and judge those offers on those merits,’’ he said.
‘‘ We are not constraining the market by saying it has to be in the CBD.’’
Suburban sites may well be cheaper than those in the city. Requirements for green- star rating could also mean rents for a new building will have to be around 50 per cent above the current level for A grade space in the city of around $ 300 a metre.
Somewhere along the line, though, the status of the CBD as the commercial hub must be confirmed. The survival of the CBD depends on it. In last week’s column, Business Desk stressed the importance of the region de- veloping ethanol plants but then put back the planned commissioning date of one of the plants being proposed.
In fact, North Queensland Bio-Energy Corporation’s $ 425 million mill proposal in the Herbert district is planning for production to start in 2014 and not 2015 or 2016 as quoted. Work to build Austcane’s $200 million plant in the Burdekin is set to start this year for commissioning in 2013.