News & Media Releases
Council to purchase property in Bridge Road as strategic investment
12 December 2013
Yarra City Council is purchasing a three storey office building in Richmond as a strategic investment which will help reinvigorate the Bridge Road retail strip.
Council plans to offset the purchase by commercially leasing out two floors of the building at 343-353 Bridge Road, providing opportunities for major organisations to co-locate with Council.
The third floor will be used for Council staff accommodation, relieving pressure on Yarra’s town halls which are now at capacity and do not allow for future growth.
The total estimated cost of the project, which includes the purchase and fitout of the Bridge Rd building, is around $14 million.
Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky said acquiring the Bridge Road property, situated 40 metres east of the Richmond Town Hall, was an exciting, forward thinking strategic investment for Council, heralding a new way of addressing corporate financial, economic, social and sustainability challenges.
“This is a great opportunity which, over time, will bring into the Bridge Road area a significant number of office staff from both the commercial sector and Council. The flow-on effect for Bridge Road will be significant.”
Mayor Fristacky said Council would be looking to attract major companies or organisations to the area to co-locate with Council. This will add to the vibrant commercial mix along Bridge Road, complementing and supporting its well-known retail and dining offerings.
She further said the investment would also help address the fact that Council’s town halls are at capacity, without sufficient office accommodation, community meeting rooms and storage spaces.
“Rather than looking to building new office accommodation, we see this strategic investment in the heart of Bridge Road as more sustainable, enabling retention of greater open space and reducing the amount of travel some staff have to contend with between town halls,”
Cr Fristacky said the investment would enable Council to be in a position to consider prudent exit options for 345 Bridge Road Richmond in the future when it is timely to pursue further development of the Collingwood Town Hall precinct.
Council will, at its Council meeting on Tuesday 17 December, consider advertising a revised budget, outlining a borrowing program to fund the purchase of 345 Bridge Road, Richmond and other capital works projects. A report to Council will be on Council’s website on Monday 16 December 2013.
Subject to Council approval, the revised budget will be available for public comment for over six weeks from 18 December 2013. This is longer than the statutory 28 days-notice which Council is required to provide under the Local Government Act in recognition of the impending Christmas and New Year period.
Submissions received on the Revised Budget will be heard at the further Council meeting on Tuesday 4 February 2014 pursuant to Section 223 of the Act. A recommendation to adopt the Revised Budget, with or without modification, will be considered at the Council meeting to be held on Tuesday 18 February 2014.
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