City un­veils stage one of big re­vamp

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT - HE­LEN KEMPTON

STAGE one of Devon­port’s city re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion project is com­plete with a strik­ing new civic build­ing open for busi­ness.

The Liv­ing City project is trans­form­ing the North-West city and at­ten­tion will now turn to the next stage — a wa­ter­front precinct boast­ing a new $35 mil­lion ho­tel.

The new paranaple cen­tre was of­fi­cially opened yes­ter­day as the Devon­port City Coun­cil cel­e­brated the com­ple­tion of the project’s $71.1 mil­lion first stage. The cen­tre houses a state-of-the-art li­brary, Ser­vice Tas­ma­nia, a cafe, Devon­port On­line and Devon­port City Coun­cil of­fices.

It also boasts an 800-seat con­fer­ence cen­tre, which hosted its first ma­jor event two weeks ago, a multi-level carpark and a food pav­il­ion to show­case the re­gion’s pre­mium pro­duce.

Next month, the Devon­port Art Gallery, Vis­i­tor In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre and the former Devon­port En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre will com­plete their re­lo­ca­tion on the ad­join­ing site.

Work will then start on the wa­ter­front precinct, which will fea­ture a ho­tel, res­i­den­tial apart­ments, river­side park and a pos­si­bly a marina.

“`The precinct will con­nect the city to the wa­ter with at­trac­tive pub­lic space and an ex- pan­sive view­ing plat­form stretching from the CBD to the edge of the Mersey River, pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity to view the Spirit of Tas­ma­nia fer­ries,’’ Devon­port Act­ing Mayor An­nette Rock­liff said.

Fair­brother has been se­lected as the pre­ferred pro­po­nent of the $35 mil­lion wa­ter­front ho­tel. It is ex­pected to take about two years to build, with site works ex­pected to be­gin next year.

Al­der­man Rock­liff said money from the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments had helped make the project a re­al­ity.

The State Govern­ment con­trib­uted $14 mil­lion to stage one as part of its $90 mil­lion Northern Cities Devel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive.

Premier Will Hodg­man said the project would not just trans­form Devon­port but have an im­pact on the whole re­gion.

“The fully com­pleted project is es­ti­mated to generate $112 mil­lion an­nu­ally in ad­di­tional eco­nomic out­put, and pro­vide up to 830 on­go­ing jobs,” Mr Hodg­man said.

In July, Can­berra put up $10 mil­lion to help with Liv­ing City’s next stage.

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