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Self-funding library on site of former Wynnum Central School

Date

Kim Stephens

Image of the proposed Wynnum site development.

Image of the proposed Wynnum site development. Photo: Supplied

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.

Image of the proposed Wynnum site development.

Image of the proposed Wynnum site development. Photo: Supplied

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.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and 2016 LNP candidate for Wynnum-Manly Deirdre Thomson survey development plans for the old Wynnum Central State School site.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and 2016 LNP candidate for Wynnum-Manly Deirdre Thomson survey development plans for the old Wynnum Central State School site. Photo: Kim Stephens

"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.

6 comments so far

  • What's happening to the old library site?

    Commenter
    libby
    Date and time
    August 20, 2014, 7:19AM
    • Great news , But I'll believe it when I see it , but another shopping center with a major retailer when Wynnum is struggling , what will the rents be like, in light of the vacant shops we have now . And will the old school brick building be preserved , and what of all the consultation with the public for the school to be a community facility , it seems the big developer won out in the end

      Commenter
      John
      Location
      Wynnum
      Date and time
      August 20, 2014, 7:36AM
      • John, The site was bought by CBIC off the State Gov. Woolworths will build themselves a centre and the library up top. So it's win win for both owner (CBIC) and lessee / developer (WW).
        There were calls back when the state was selling the school that it should be sold with a covenant on how the site should be re-developed - obviously didn't occur.

        Commenter
        neilo
        Location
        Wynnum Manly
        Date and time
        August 20, 2014, 8:07AM
    • So the council approved a subdivision of this old school site to form this development site and literally a 15m wide "Park" dedication (with carpark under) between the proposed library/Woolworths and the histroic school building. The park dedication in the local plan calls for half the site! (which would have still allowed the site to be profitable if you build up)
      A pocket park was approved to the disapproval of many local residents and businesses.
      Now CBIC are proposing that Woolworths' development arm build them a library essentially for free (good) on land that is zoned for 8 storeys (bad). Instead of revitalizing Wynnum - lets keep it a backwater buy encouraging two storey concrete shopping centres, ground level carparks and peace-meal pocket parks.
      Report to the CMC for review?

      Commenter
      neilo
      Location
      Wynnum Manly
      Date and time
      August 20, 2014, 7:38AM
      • How long before McDonalds will be building schools with restaurants attached?

        Commenter
        PaxUs
        Location
        Austerelia
        Date and time
        August 20, 2014, 10:12AM
        • I hope there is space to relocate the Queensland Transport Customer (Slow) 'Service Centre' to this new facility - its current location is appalling and the availability of parking is even worse.

          Commenter
          KJ
          Location
          Ormiston
          Date and time
          August 20, 2014, 10:36AM

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