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$7m upgrade to "tacky" Gawler Place tops priority list

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The Adelaide City Council has set multi-million dollar upgrades to Gawler Place above renovations to other Rundle Mall laneways as the soon-to-be-unveiled Kintore Avenue memorial walk ups the pressure to redevelop the “tacky” street.

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InDaily understands that a $7 million redevelopment to Gawler Place has been given top priority by the council over upgrades to other laneways such as Charles Street.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese told InDaily he fully supported a council-funded upgrade, first slated in the Rundle Mall Masterplan in 2013, which would include improved landscaping, paving, seating, lighting and greening elements.

The Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk on Kintore Avenue, directly to the north of Gawler Place, is expected to be officially unveiled next Saturday.

Area councillor Natasha Malani told InDaily upgrades to the street would be aimed at improving the quality of the “public realm” and encouraging businesses to “spill out onto the street – for outdoor dining, for example”.

She said Gawler Place was overdue for renovation.

“Let’s face it – Gawler Place is pretty tacky” she said.

“We also want to create an environment where people want to spend time.”

Malani told InDaily she hoped the upgrades would encourage owners of adjacent properties to invest as well.

“It’s one of those [projects where] the business case is there,” Malani said.

“There’s a lot of evidence that … when we invest in public realm, property owners invest in their buildings.

“We really want to encourage property owners to put their hands in their pockets.”

Malani said the project would cost about $7 million for both the north and south sides of the mall.

“We can’t have a [Rundle Mall] Master Plan that’s half-done,” she said.

“We know it’s a space that needs investment.

“It’s possible if the council agrees … that we can get this done quite quickly.

“It can go into our budget … and roll it out by the end of the council term – sooner than that, ideally.”

She said the project was also needed to continue the momentum of development around the city.

“What we’re starting to see is some great development over the whole CBD area and the mall is the heart [of that],” she said.

“We need to keep that momentum going.”

The cost is under ongoing consideration as part of the council’s budget process, due to be finished by July.

It comes after last year’s completion of the $30 million Rundle Mall redevelopment.

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