Mount Barker is taking a giant step towards the development of a new focal point the town centre that will bring over 400 new permanent jobs.
Mount Barker District Council has finalised a competitive bidding process, where it sought to attract private sector investment to help develop a significant project that stimulates local and regional employment and investment while delivering new community facilities.
“A town square has long been advocated by the community; a place where events and everyday gatherings may take place,” Mayor Ann Ferguson says.
“Council’s objective for the competitive process was to stimulate the local economy through encouraging partnership with the private sector and we were thrilled with the submissions that we received.”
The interest and attention on Mount Barker is significant and this project proves again that there are many and varied opportunities to invest in this District,” the Mayor continued.
Like all successful town squares, they must be framed by activity, which is why Council set out to not only integrate community facilities adjacent but to also seek additional commercial uses that can bring a high level of vibrancy to the space.
Given the significant growth occurring in Mount Barker, this project reinforces the primacy of the Town Centre whilst delivering new spaces to respond to the growing needs and demands of community.
Council have announced that Burke Urban Investments has been successful in being selected as its preferred development partner.
Mayor Ann Ferguson says that “Burke Urban Investments put forward a compelling proposal that not only delivers significant community and commercial benefits but also showed an appreciation of the broader opportunities this development can have for the town centre, including connections up to Gawler Street and beyond.”
The focal point of the catalyst development is the large vacant, and long under utilised site measuring 12,000m2, adjacent to Hutchinson Street and Morphett Street, and the tree-lined Druids Avenue to the north.
Burke Urban Investment’s successful proposal responded best to Council’s core objectives of generating increased local employment and creating new integrated community facilities and spaces.
These public facilities include a new library, innovation hub and civic office, all of which will front onto a new community town square. Just as importantly, these public facilities are set to trigger significant private investment, with the proposal also including over 4000sqm of office space, a hotel, residential units and a market shed that combines vibrant retailing for artisans and food and beverage outlets.
Burke Urban Investments, formed by respected South Australian business leaders Kym Burke and Con Tragakis is part of Award Winning Burke Urban Group.
Burke Urban have enjoyed a long association with development in Mount Barker, initially with the prestigious Waterford project on Springs Road and more recently the award winning Newenham Estate on Flaxley Road, which is a short walk or ride to the Town Centre.
Burke Urban Investments Director Kym Burke explained, “We’re excited to be beginning this journey with Council and look forward to engaging with the community as we move through the next phases of the project.”
“The added employment and economic activity the development of this project can bring to the town centre is significant and we look forward to further strengthening the position of Mount Barker as an activity centre for the region”, Kym continued.
Council will now commence more detailed feasibility around the proposal, including the drafting of a Heads of Agreement between the two parties.
Community input is fundamental to the success of this project, with formal consultation set to occur in early to mid 2021.