High-risk policy starting to bite
The Canopies replacement costs are insignificant, compared to the costs ratepayers have already incurred buying up CBD land and buildings, plus associated insurance, interest, repairs and maintenance, and subsequent reduction in rents, rates, and write-downs of values.
Our rates have been used to fund the purchases, while infrastructure has either been deferred, or funded by borrowing.
In the real world, the value of ageing buildings reduces, especially if they are not well maintained, and building and land values also fall as a result of lower numbers of shoppers, changes in retailing and other factors.
At a certain point, they fall to a level which interests developers and speculators, otherwise known as the private sector, and they become willing to take on the risk of developing new shops, theatres, restaurants, cafes, apartments and offices.
Councils influence these developments through zoning and the consent process.