Kiosk lease plan on hold
The Albany council has again postponed plans to lease a kiosk in the city’s visitor centre, six months after it rejected a lease for a small cafe on the site.
On May 28, the City of Albany council voted 9-2 to delay a decision on the site, a 14sqm space of the visitor centre facing Alison Hartman Gardens, until December.
It followed a November council decision to reject a lease for the site to barista Chris Saurin, after warnings from the Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry and business owners that another cafe outlet would damage existing business profits.
Businesses also objected to the $9000-per-year lease, which is below average for rented spaces in the area, but is per-square-metre several times more expensive than the average for a small York Street commercial space.
Crs Ray Hammond and Paul Terry were the lone supporters of putting the lease out for expressions of interest, with the latter challenging cafes to up their game if they were worried about competition.
While the ACCI reversed its opposition in 2018 to leasing the area, Cr Robert Sutton said he worried adding real estate to the market would exacerbate commercial vacancies on York Street.
A disappointed Mr Saurin said he believed the decision was the result of a lack of vision on the council’s part.
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