Umina Mall owner Laundy Exhibition is hoping work can start almost immediately to rebuild Umina Mall.
Mr Craig Laundy said he had been told that Central Coast Council will again begin negotiations to sell two lanes behind the current site which was burnt out by arson in January of this year.
“I am yet to hear from the general manager. However we are excited at the prospect of reaching a deal,’’ said Mr Laundy, the former Federal Liberal Member for Reid, who retired from Parliament at the end of his term earlier this year.
He said work could start on the site immediately on the mall which would be four times the size of the previous structure. Plans had been “shovel-ready” since 2015, he said.
His comments came after the council voted in a confidential session on October 8 to again offer to sell the lanes if the owner of the adjoining properties was still interested.
“We’re desperate to invest in the Central Coast but we’ve been hamstrung,’’ Mr Laundy said.
He praised the work of Labor’s Cr Richard Mehrtens and Wyong MP Mr David Harris for getting the process underway again.
Council has agreed to seek an updated valuation of the current market value of the land and offer to sell the land to the owner of the adjoining blocks in line with Council policies and procedures.
The square site takes in properties fronting Ocean Beach Rd between Pozieres and Lone Pine Ave and blocks fronting Pozieres and Lone Pine with one lane running parallel to Ocean Beach behind the mall and a second lane running between the blocks of land in Pozieres and Lone Pine.
Mr Laundy said that once the lanes were consolidated into the site, work could recommence.
The development application (DA37199/2009), first approved in 2010, had been activated with some demolition work on one of the blocks behind the mall and was still current.
He said the new centre would cost about $10m to build and local builders and tradesmen would be employed.
When finished, he expected about 200 permanent local jobs would be generated.
The negotiations for the sale of the lanes stalled first with a disagreement over the price and then again when the former Gosford Council was merged with the former Wyong Council.
Cr Richard Mehrtens said he was pleased that Council resolved to re-start discussions and he hoped it would be a first step towards getting Umina Mall back up and running.
“There are a number of issues that Central Coast Council staff are attempting to unravel regarding how the former Gosford Council was progressing with this matter, and I look forward to receiving further information from staff as it becomes available,” he said.
Interview (Merilyn Vale), 24 Oct, 2019
Craig Laundy, Laundy Exhibition
Central Coast Council agenda 8.1, 8 Oct 2019
Media Statement, 24 Oct 2019
Richard Mehrtens, Central Coast Council