Ocean Village Shopping Centre on Kilpa Court.

Cambridge to appoint consultant to steer sale of Ocean Village carparks to Blackburne

Source: Perth Now

The Town of Cambridge will appoint a consultant to finalise negotiations for the sale of two council-owned City Beach carparks to property developer Blackburne.

Blackburne is eying two carparks surrounding the Ocean Village Shopping Centre site, which the company bought in September.

The carparks, which a council report said had been valued at more than $6 million, would expand Blackburne’s land holding to nearly 11,000sqm.

A motion from mayor Keri Shannon on Tuesday that the council appoint a “suitably qualified and experienced” consultant to manage the sale on behalf of the town was carried 8-1, with Cr Xavier Carr voting against it.

Once the negotiations have been finalised, the town will put the details out for public comment for another two weeks before going back to the council.

Speaking during public question time, Blackburne executive chairman Paul Blackburne said he wanted to finalise the sale so they could get moving on the project and stop the site from deteriorating.

“We’ve got a thick document of comments from the public. People want to see it developed, they are sick of seeing this run down,” he said.

“We have found mattresses and drug paraphernalia in the bushes around there, it’s graffiti-ridden.

“It is becoming almost dangerous … and it is only going to get worse.

“So some people would buy this and sit on it for 10 to 20 years; that is not our preferred option.

“But if things do get held up we really don’t have any choice but to make a decision — leave it as it is, or just get on with doing something the best we can on the land that is there.”

Ms Shannon said the council had spent four years developing a local planning strategy to decide where to deliver density targets set out by the State Government.

These targets included up to 250 new dwellings at Ocean Village.

“The shopping centre at Ocean Village is in need of work and it really does need a significant renovation,” she said.

“But we have to balance it with the concerns of the community directly impacted as well, so we have a very fine balance to walk.”

Ms Shannon said they also had to ensure they got “value for money” if they decided to sell the land and “can’t be blind” to the need for housing choice within the community.

“We certainly are very, very aware of the concerns of the community that are directly impacted,” she said.

“But we also have concerns within the wider City Beach and Floreat community from other residents who want a place to downsize who are looking at housing options.”