Published on 12 October 2018
The Devonport City Council has officially opened Stage 1 of its ambitious LIVING CITY project.
LIVING CITY is transforming Devonport through the creation of new retail, business/service and waterfront precincts focused on highlighting the city’s tourism, arts, food and services.
Stage 1 is a $71.1 million investment in Devonport and incorporates the impressive new multi-purpose civic building, the paranaple centre, which is home to a state-of-the-art Library, integrated customer service centre including Service Tasmania, a café, Devonport Online, Council offices and an 800-seat conference centre.
It also includes a multi-level car park and a food pavilion which will showcase the region’s premium produce through restaurants, a distillery, accredited training facilities and market spaces.
At the beginning of next month, the Devonport Art Gallery, Visitor Information Centre and the former Devonport Entertainment Centre will complete their relocation on the adjoining site. This refurbished building will be known as the paranaple arts centre and will complete the precinct.
The project has been a collaboration between the three tiers of government with funding provided by the Devonport City Council, and the Tasmanian and Australian Governments.
Acting Mayor Annette Rockliff said without the financial support of the State and Federal Governments it was difficult to believe that the project would have come to fruition.
Ald. Rockliff also thanked Council’s Development Managers, P+I Group and Lyons Architects which headed the design process and developed a contemporary design which – importantly – did not look out of place with the heritage buildings nearby or the existing streetscape.
Chosen builder Fairbrother was also praised for completing the project on time and, more importantly, on budget.
Importantly, she said the benefits offered by Stage 1did not only extend to the new buildings but also the employment opportunities it had generated for local tradespeople.
“As an example more than 60 apprentices have worked on the project, be that on or off site. That is a significant boost to the community and the skills gained by these people will continue to benefit the entire region for decades to come.’’
She also accepted that not everyone within the community supported Council’s LIVING CITY vision, which was not unusual.
However, she believed the vision was becoming more accepted now Stage 1 was operational.
“I must say that I have been overwhelmed by the number of positive comments I have heard from residents lately, particularly since they have had an opportunity to become more familiar with the building and the facilities it offers,’’ she said.
“Since officially opening on 3 September the positive comments have continued to grow and it is clear many who were sceptical about the project have now had a significant change of heart.’’
Ald. Rockliff said Stage 1was not the end of the LIVING CITY vision with attention now turning to the next stage – the Waterfront Precinct, which will feature a hotel, residential apartments, riverside park and a potential marina.
Concept plans for the precinct were released for community consultation between December 2016 and February 2017 and reflect the area bounded by Rooke Street, Best Street, Mussel Rock and the Mersey River.
“The precinct will connect the city to the water with attractive public space, featuring a native Tasmanian garden, amphitheatre, nature-based children’s play, light and water features along with an expansive viewing platform stretching from the CBD over Formby River, the rail line and out into the edge of the Mersey River, providing a spectacular opportunity to view the Spirit of Tasmania ferries,’’ Ald. Rockliff said.
In October last year Fairbrother was selected as the Preferred Proponent of the $35 million waterfront hotel. Under the terms of the agreement Fairbrother will be responsible to develop, finance and construct the hotel and to appoint the operator. It is expected to take about two years to construct, with site works anticipated to begin next year
The land for the hotel has been freed up by the relocation of department store Harris Scarfe to the Council’s former temporary offices at 17 Fenton Way, which is the beginning of work on the retail precinct proposed by Council.
Ald. Rockliff said she was delighted that the Federal Government confirmed, in July, a $10 million commitment to the next stage, which was greatly appreciated.
She also stressed that Council’s strategy was not confined to the northern end of Rooke Street and its surrounds.
“The vision we have been seeking to deliver is much broader than that and has been actively geared towards also creating and promoting business opportunities in Southern Rooke Street.’’
“Council has already developed a new carpark and last year it was able to facilitate the establishment of TasWater’s North-West headquarters in the precinct. Work on a $1 million Southern Rooke Street renewal project will begin in earnest in January.’’
Ald. Rockliff said Stage 1 was just the very beginning of a project which the Council believed comes at a time of great potential and opportunity for the region.
The Premier, Will Hodgman, Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff and Senators Richard Colbeck and Steve Martin also participated in the opening ceremony.
Nigel Tapp |Media & Communications Officer |Devonport City Council
03 6424 0562 | 0427 132 972 |firstname.lastname@example.org