Regional Library plans on public exhibition

Central Coast Regional Library Concept 1Central Coast Regional Library Concept 1. (This is a design concept, not the final plans)

A 28-day public exhibition period will commence on February 18 to give the community an opportunity to consider two options for the development of the regional library in Donnison St, Gosford.

Mayor Jane Smith said the proposals for the library would be available for public comment through “We will also be announcing two community consultation sessions to be held at the Gosford Chamber on the same day, one during the day and one during the evening,” Mayor Smith said. Council staff provided councillors with a briefing on the proposed Gosford Regional Library, on Monday, December 11. During the course of that briefing, there was a request that Council exhibit two potential proposals for the Regional Library, which councillors endorsed at their December 18 meeting. Council resolved in February 2017, that the site for the proposed Central Coast Regional Library was 123A Donnison St, Gosford. Council has been in discussions with the adjoining owner to consolidate its land with the site at 123A Donnison St, to increase the commercial activity associated with the proposed Regional Library.

Central Coast Regional Library concept 2

“This may include a combined commercial/ retail and community project which will assist with the ongoing financial support for the library, as well as deliver additional employment, economic stimulus, and assist in kick-starting the revitalisation of Gosford’s CBD,” a report to the December 18 Central Coast Council meeting said. The first concept that will be placed on exhibition is for the Regional Library to be contained on the site at 123A Donnison St. The second concept utilises the adjoining site to create the combined community, commercial and retail precinct that assists with the ongoing financial contribution necessary for the library’s operation, according to the report. “The second concept enables the connectivity of key place-making precincts within the Gosford CBD, centralised around the library, education and Kibble Park,” the report said. “This provides key pedestrian linkages to TAFE, the Library through to Kibble Park, as well as from the Library through to the CBD precinct in Mann St, down to the waterfront and stadium.

Concept One would provide 4,000 square metres of library space with two levels of basement carpark, totalling 2,900 square metres. It would include four levels of Library space above ground. “Based on the high-level cost estimate completed by a Quantity Surveyor, the project will require an additional capital contribution from Council and ongoing operational and capital costs on a per annum basis,” the report said. “The final Quantity Surveyor cost estimate will be refreshed once the detailed design is complete for the project. “Concept Two, subject to discussions with the adjoining property owner, would provide 4,000 square metres of library site, 10,600 square metres of commercial space over 10 storeys, plus 985 square metres of retail, with 7,300 square metres of car parking over three basement levels, servicing both the development and the CBD generally. Of the commercial space, 7,300 square metres will be available for lease or sale at the completion of the project. “As is the case with any development of this kind, should there be a correction in the market, it may take longer to lease or sell the 7,300 square metres of commercial and 985 square metres of retail space, which will increase the comparative holding cost of the project, should the project be funded by external borrowings.

“Based on the high-level cost estimate, the project will require an additional capital contribution from Council. “To mitigate this risk, Council will be seeking a pre-commitment for the sale or lease of the commercial and retail space prior to commencing construction of the commercial component of the project. “This pre-commitment will not hold up the commencement of construction of the Gosford Regional Library. “An Independent Economic Study on both schemes will be conducted, and combined with the outcomes of the community engagement, will be presented to Council for their consideration.”

Source: Interview, Feb 13 Jane Smith, Central Coast Council Agenda item 4.14, Dec 18 Central Coast Council ordinary meeting Jackie Pearson, journalist

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