One of the options as part of the Manly 2015 Plan is to demolish the 18 year old library and rebuild a new community facility on the site.
However, at a recent workshop Manly Councillors decided to support the option of maintaining the existing building, adding two storeys, and opening up the ground floor level to interact with the plaza.
“The current building is an award-winning design by Architect Feiko Bouman. It is my understanding that the building can be modified to meet future requirements, which is a far more cost-effective approach,” Clr Candy Bingham said.
As part of a series of workshops to consider the high-risk $34million Oval Car Park Proposal, Clr Bingham, who does not support the construction of a car park under the Oval nor the demolition of the Whistler Street car park, showed examples of how car parks similar to Whistler Street had been successfully refurbished.
Maintaining and refurbishing existing infrastructure has become a trend around the world. Car parks can either be camouflaged or made a feature of, depending upon the treatment chosen. See examples below:
Instead of selling the site for shops and fifty apartments, the concept of refurbishing the car park, and opening up the area out the front as a plaza would create a great space for locals to hang out” Clr Bingham said.
Although the spaces in the existing car park are tight, the fact that it is so centrally located and well patronised supports the case to maintain it.
Should the Oval car park go ahead, with the sale and demolition of the Whistler Street car park and the removal of 100 parking spots from the streets? Manly will only be 300 car spaces better off, in a far less convenient, underground location.
Is it worth the high cost, high risk or should another location be found which will provide 300 parking spaces?
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.