It's all go for Centro in 2011
THE PRESSURE is back on the Leda Group to produce the goods after the Fraser Coast council signalled full steam ahead to the redevelopment of the Centro shopping complex in Hervey Bay.
The developers were yesterday urged to have a “substantial” part of the $100 million Pialba project in place by June 2011 after councillors backed the plan, which was rescued by Mayor Mick Kruger two weeks ago.
Leda had threatened to pull out of the Fraser Coast after infrastructure charges blew out from $1 million to $3.8 million late last year.
Mr Kruger and council chief executive Andrew Brien met with Leda’s project consultant Allan Keast a fortnight ago and a solution to the impasse was found.
The mayor brought the solution back to the council table yesterday.
All members of the Fraser Coast council – except Sue Brooks, who excused herself due to her involvement with a Centro business, – voted in favour of the renegotiated deal, which sees the previous infrastructure charge back on the table.
“We’ve decided to manage it this way,” Mr Kruger said.
“We’ll agree to the solution from the discussions, the offer being on the table until June 2011, and they have to have substantial construction under way by then.
“I’d like to see it sooner.
“The offer stands as far as the headworks charges stand.”
Yesterday’s confidential meeting discussed the Centro situation for about 30 minutes.
Andrew Brien will now take it up with Leda to move the project forward, Mr Kruger said.
Stage one tenants IGA and Target have pushed forward with refurbishments at the Centro complex.
Stage two of the ambitious plan includes Coles, Best and Less, Kmart and a major food court.
“We’re always open if anything comes up that needs addressing, but we don’t see any problems going forward from now,” Mr Kruger said.
“Once it is under way it will be a stimulus for the Fraser Coast economy as far as employment is concerned.”
The project had stalled because the council had moved the goalposts on the infrastructure charges, Leda’s Allan Keast said on January 15.
This followed a meeting in December when the project appeared to have been granted a mid-2010 start date.
This start-up date for stage two is now back in play after yesterday’s council approval.