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Boyd ultimatum

05 May 2016

Boyd ultimatum Image

By Sean Car

Southbank will soon know whether Mackie will still be the developer responsible for providing it with a new park at the Boyd Community Hub.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle confirmed at last month’s Future Melbourne Committee meeting that council had issued a “drop-dead date” of April 30 for the developer to fulfill its end of its contract with the City of Melbourne.

The Lord Mayor told the meeting that should Mackie fail to satisfy council by the deadline, it would be putting the site back on the market.  

At the time of publishing this edition, a City of Melbourne spokesperson told Southbank Local News that it had received documentation from Mackie on Friday, April 29, which was still being assessed.

The spokesperson said the outcome of the assessment wouldn’t be confirmed until after council released its annual budget this month.

While no further information was disclosed, council’s chair of planning Cr Ken Ong had earlier told Southbank Local News that, having met with the developer last year, he felt it wasn’t in control of the situation.

“When I met with Mackie last year I felt that they didn’t have it under control,” he said.

“I told Mackie that we weren’t going to allow this thing to drag on forever as there was a lot of community angst around the project.”

Having purchased the site from the City of Melbourne in 2007, Mackie entered into a commercial agreement with council in 2012 to develop a residential building and a 2500sqm park at the site.

The 22-storey proposal will comprise 239 one, two and three-bedroom apartments (including floor plans specifically designed for people with disabilities), affordable housing and 2000sqm of retail and commercial space.

Its permit, issued by the former Minister for Planning Matthew Guy in 2013, is due to lapse in September.

Cr Ong said that, while the contract could very well be terminated should Mackie be unable to fulfill its obligations, council was “open to anything” on the open market as long it got a park.

“As long as open space is a part of the plans then anything is possible,” he said. “We would still most likely go to market, as council is still very set on providing affordable housing for the site.”

“As long as we get a park, and a big one, then we are open to anything.”

“It’s a complicated agreement. It’s council-owned land but as long as it’s tied up in this contract then we can’t do anything with it.”

The City of Melbourne started its community consultation process with the local community to develop a master a plan for the future park at the end of 2014.

While council was first expected to release draft plans for the park last year, no such plans have been released as the site continues to remain undeveloped.

Mackie didn’t respond to efforts by Southbank Local News to contact it for comment.

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