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'New vision' for neglected North Terrace

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Premier Jay Weatherill has met with building owners to develop a plan to revitalise the neglected south side of Adelaide’s premier boulevard.

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Weatherill and Deputy Premier John Rau met with owners and traders yesterday and agreed to develop a “new shared vision” for the terrace in collaboration with the Adelaide City Council.

About $5 million worth of development applications have been approved for the southern side of North Terrace over the past 12 months, but vacant and poorly maintained buildings remain.

Weatherill said the Government and council would work together to develop “a new vision for North Terrace and work with building owners to help them overcome the barriers they face so their buildings are no longer under-utilised and under-developed”.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese said the collaboration would help “to realise the value of our city’s main cultural boulevard”.

The details of this “vision” aimed at a “vibrant Adelaide” are yet to be agreed upon, but a further meeting is due to be held with owners and traders once they are.

“We are open to discuss any further unnecessary obstacles they may be having and how we can work in partnership to help owners move forward,” Rau said.

“We have seen upmarket investment further along the Terrace, in the form of Tiffany & Co jeweller, Jamie’s Italian, 2KW roof-top bar and the Australian Fashion Labels … this is the sort of investment we want to continue.

“In the meantime, activation of existing buildings is a priority.”

Urbanest development director Jeremy Baker, who attended the meeting, said a new vision was important for Adelaide’s “future vibrancy”.

Property developer Theo Maras, who was not part of the meeting but is looking for tenants for a potential joint venture development on North Terrace, told InDaily many of the buildings along the south side of North Terrace were simply “not economically viable”.

He said the Government may need to step in to rent space along North Terrace to improve chances of development.

Maras said North Terrace premises were sought-after by national and the international retailers, but the heritage status of some of the buildings and strict requirements of the Building Code of Australia were stifling development.

“I’m very encouraged that the Government … is talking with property owners – they should be congratulated.”

He said in other places around the world, governments that granted heritage status for particular buildings also helped contribute to their economic viability by taking up tenancy.

Rau has previously suggested the Government may apply a “disincentive” for building owners that fail to make upgrades.

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