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Self-funding library on site of former Wynnum Central School

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A new community library will form part of highly anticipated redevelopment plans for the former Wynnum Central State School site, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has announced. 

But its construction will not cost ratepayers a cent.

In a first for Brisbane City Council, managers of its so-called future fund, the City of Brisbane Investment Corporation, negotiated a "self-funding" model that will see the community facility paid for through an agreement with a major retailer that will also occupy the site.

It is believed the retailer will be a national supermarket chain.

Cr Quirk unveiled plans for the $4.25 million redevelopment on Tuesday, two years after the council purchased the prime bayside suburb site for $4 million.

"This is an outcome where we would provide a library free of charge to the citizens of Brisbane by placing a retailer at ground level," he said.


"This has been the work of CBIC and this is the deal they have come up with.

"We can do it without cost to ratepayers and we will also be able to release the current site.

"That will provide another development opportunity to also enhance the CBD down there."

Cr Quirk promised a new library to the people of the Wynnum-Manly ward as part of his 2012 election campaign and described the deal negotiated by CBIC as the entity's first "social dividend project".

Wynnum's current library is about 600 metres from its planned new location and, at just more than 650 square metres, is about a third the size of the planned new 2000 square metre facility.

Cr Quirk said the major retailer would occupy about 3000 square metres of floor space on the ground level of the development.

Some smaller retail shops also form part of the plans.

He said it was hoped construction would commence before the end of this year.

CBIC was established in 2009 by former Lord Mayor Campbell Newman as a financial investment entity to create a "future fund" for the city.

Though it has come under fire from the Labor Opposition for under-performing, Cr Quirk said it had delivered at least a 10 per cent return on its investments each year since it began.

Until the Wynnum site negotiations, however, its focus had largely been commercial property investment.

"The main job of CBIC is as a future fund for the city, a savings account for the future," he said.

"This (Wynnum) is a bit unique, it required skills outside those of council officers to put together a deal that could work commercially and in the intrests of ratepayers. 

"It is the first of its sort where the CBIC is entering into a social dividend style project."

Wynnum-Manly ward councillor, Labor's Peter Cumming, said while residents would welcome the long-awaited redevelopment, he did not believe it was large enough.

The two-storey proposal sits in an area zoned for eight storeys and Cr Cumming said one of the oft-voiced wishes of residents was that a cinema would occupy any future development.