Study to identify sites for new Gladstone CBD car park

IMAGINE a CBD with a multi-storey public car park, open green space, shops and a five star hotel attached to luxury apartments by a walkway.

That's one vision for Gladstone. This week Gladstone Regional Council decided the CBD needs another central car park.

In February councillor Karen Porter called on her council to revitalise the CBD.

The lack of parking has long been flagged by businesses as the main issue in town, with the main public car park behind the council chamber constantly full during the day.

After this week's decision the council will develop a detailed "action plan" using $297,000 set aside for the CBD Parking Allocation and Traffic Study Allocation.

That plan will identify potential "central sites" for a new car park.

But property developer Ed Morris (pictured) says he presented a solution to the council three years ago.

He has done studies, consulted with business owners and designed a four-storey car park with 1600 spaces behind the council chambers on 16,000sq m of land.

His vision is to see that topped with boutique shops, a hotel, luxury apartments and an open green space to give CBD workers somewhere nice to eat lunch.

Parking will be free for the first three hours and anyone staying longer will pay a small hourly fee.

The only barrier between his project and calling for investors is the council.

Mr Morris showed his plan to the council on July 23, 2012. That November he received a brief letter stating the council was "not prepared to provide permission for further investigation...".

WASTED CHANCE: Ed Morris offered the council a solution to Gladstone's parking problem three years ago. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer
WASTED CHANCE: Ed Morris offered the council a solution to Gladstone's parking problem three years ago. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer Helen Spelitis

"(But) They've lost the window of opportunity to get investors now," Mr Morris said.

"Gladstone isn't the flavour of the month anymore. But that doesn't mean it is over. Gladstone will never go backwards, it will always be growing and moving forward."

Mr Morris has been a resident of Gladstone for more than 30 years. "I am sure someone will see the benefit. It will be a lively commercial area that will start a whole new micro-economy with more people coming into the CBD to work in the shops and hotel."

Possible new car park sites

Behind council chamber

Oaka Lane behind City Central Apartments

Behind Ridges Hotel

Behind Stepping Stones Child Care Centre

YOUR VIEWS: Got an idea to share about this topic? Let us know by contacting 4970 3030 or helen.spelitis@gladstone



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