Expressions of Interest closed last Friday (12/6/15) with Council receiving 12 for the design and construct of a smaller car park under Manly Oval (470 spaces against the original proposal of 760 spaces); and three submissions for the redevelopment of the Whistler Street site.
Following a motion moved by Clr Candy Bingham, Council resolved that all submissions would be made public, and put on exhibition for 28 days.
A report is expected to come back to Council's September Ordinary meeting for further debate.
While, of course, you would expect a large number of EOIs for the construction of the oval car park, given the Council (ie ratepayes) will be taking the full risk for this project, many are querying why the General Manager issued the EOI for a smaller, 470 space car park. The original Manly2015 Plan, and all the due diligence reports, were based on a larger car park which was to provide additional parking for Manly's CBD.
"The smaller car park will only just replace what we already have, expect in a less convenient location", said Clr Bingham. The changes needed to accommodate the oval car park and the redevelopment of the Whistler Street site, will see a around 100 parking spaces removed from the streets", she added.
Although the Manly Chamber of Commerce has always publicly supported a car park under the oval, President Mark Stanley said a smaller car park was never on the table during those discussions.
So why has Council requested a smaller car park in its EOIs? One would wonder if it might have something to do with the fact that Council has claimed all along that the car park would not cost more than $34 million?
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor, Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations & community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.