Competition for UTAS bid
THE Burnie City Council is looking at what other development opportunities it can snag before it gives the University of Tasmania the nod to build more student accommodation on a prime CBD site.
The council said yesterday it was seeking expressions of interest for a development on land above the King St car park.
Mayor Steve Kons said the council had been approached by UTAS with an $8 million proposal to construct student accommodation on the site but it wanted to ensure others in the community had the same opportunity.
“Following community feedback after the council transferred land to the university at West Park, we believe that other parties should be given the opportunity to express an interest in undertaking a commercial or residential development above the car park,” Mr Kons said.
“Council is prepared to sell the land, but it will be a nonnegotiable condition of any sale that the council will lease the ground level area of land for a period of 50 years at a peppercorn rental in order to retain the existing car park facility. Council will continue to operate the King St car park, and retain all revenues from it.
“As well as providing a purchase price, any party expressing an interest will be required to show a concept plan for their proposed development, provide time frames for the development to occur, provide evidence of their capacity and capability to undertake the development and show how it will align with the Burnie Town Centre Masterplan and Burnie Settlement and Investment Strategy,” he said.
The EOI process will close on December 13 and Mr Kons said the UTAS proposal would be assessed against, and be required to meet, the same criteria and terms.
A UTAS spokesman said the institution had been working with the council to explore potential accommodation sites that would integrate its students into the heart of the city, bringing with them life and vibrancy.
“As we grow, the volume and diversity of people furthering their learning in the region through the West Park campus development, we will need more student accommodation to meet increased demand,” UTAS said. “Our proposed accommodation development, estimated at $8 million, would be situated above the King St car park, ensuring parking access would be retained for existing and future users.
“As with any significant development, we understand there is a process to work through and welcome council’s decision to call for expressions of interest.”