This week Manly Council announced the winning tenderers for the long-drawn out Manly2015 process of the Oval Car Park and Whistler Street site.
Oval Car Park
The design and construction of a 500 space car park underneath a reinstated Manly Oval was awarded to Abergeldie for around $28m.
This is well within Council’s budget of $34m which was originally set aside for a 760 space car park. Many local experts still question whether $28m is a realistic budget given the complexities of the site – only time will tell.
Many questions still remain about the management of traffic in Sydney Road and the proposed use of a roundabout at Eustace Street. These issues will need to be addressed if RMS approval is to be gained.
The Save Manly Oval Alliance has vowed to continue to fight the car park proposal.
Whistler Street Site
The proposal for the Whistler Street site was a surprise, taking a new look at what could be done within the triangle space.
Although KPMG’s original report stated that the Whistler Street car park site would be valued at around $16m, well-known Architects FJMT for Built Development Group & Athas Holdings, turned the design on its head producing an innovative approach that utilised the total site (Library & old car park) and offering Council a two-level library on the 5th & 6th floors, 50 car parking spaces (intended for disabled and 30 minute parking only) and a ‘theatre’ which in fact is two small 80 seat cinemas. Council will also receive a cash payment of $37m from the deal in exchange for a 99 year lease for both the car park and library sites.
Already dubbed ‘the glasshouse’ by locals because of the extensive use of glass in the design, the new development will include retail at ground level, sixty-eight apartments, commercial space and library, meeting spaces and council offices.
The General Manager of Manly Council said that work is expected to start on the oval car park in October this year and take about 12 months to complete.
Once operating the Whistler Street site will be redeveloped with a time-frame of 2 years to complete. During this time the Library will be re-located in temporary accommodation yet to be decided.
No opportunity has been provided by Council for Councillor or public feedback on the new Whistler Street plan. Let’s hope the developer has the sense to undertake community input before their Development Application is lodged.
Both projects will require the approval of the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
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.