Council puts Philip St precinct site on market
THE Philip Street Communities Precinct site will become a private development after a decision was made in the fortnightly Gladstone Regional Council meeting on Tuesday.
It is one of three development sites across the Gladstone region currently owned by the council which will be sold.
The council has been unable to attract private investment or government funding to pursue development of the project since it was identified as a 'community priority' in 2008.
Back then, the Philip St precinct was designed to be privately funded and would solve a desperate need for a looming retirement housing crisis.
The council took responsibility for the project in March 2012, but has been unable to secure state or federal backing.
Mayor Gail Sellers said she hoped the sale of the land would see the project finally able to proceed.
"It will happen. This will help make it happen," she said, adding there would be provisos for council involvement in the development of the area.
"If (the purchaser) wants the land to build the retirement village, we will need the land to the northern side to build the community precinct," she said.
"They have to allow for that. They may even offer to build it for us."
Cr Sellers said the land was valuable, but the council couldn't afford to build the infrastructure with its existing funds.
"We've got this land sitting empty and it's providing no return for the community," she said.
"We can't afford to build the assets we want to build for the community and we can't do a retirement village - we're not in the game for that.
"We need the people who are experts in their field to put up a proposal to us and then we'll make a decision on that."
PHILIP ST COMMUNITY PRECINCT
- Projected $40 million total cost.
- Up to seven hubs offering an array of community services.
- Open-air amphitheatre, playgrounds, public amenities and walking trails.
- Mixed-density residential allotments.
- Retirement village.
- Identified as a community priority in 2008 as part of the Social Infrastructure Strategic Plan.
- Funding applications to state and federal govt have all been rejected.
- Federal ALP election commitment of $9 million was passed over after the Federal Election when Labor won office in 2013.
- Gladstone Foundation used round one funding on other projects in 2014. Round two hasn't been announced.