Cleveland CBD revitalization on Council agenda

Some of the empty Bloomfield Street shops in the Cleveland CBD - on 8 February 2020
Some of the empty Bloomfield Street shops in the Cleveland CBD – on 8 February 2020

Empty shops in the Cleveland Central Business District (CBD) will be discussed by Redland City Council at its final general meeting before pre-election caretaker rules apply.

Cr Peter Mitchell – Division 2

Cr Peter Mitchell has given notice that at Wednesday’s council meeting he will propose:

That Council resolves to consider allocating funds in the 2020/2021 budget to develop a plan for the revitalization of the Cleveland Central Business District.

This motion is remarkably short of detail. There’s no definition of the problem, no outline of a way forward and no indication of how much funding might be required. It appears to be a pre-election motion aimed at giving the impression that ‘something’ is being done.

More than a decade of Cleveland CBD rejuvenation talk

The "dead" state of the Cleveland CBD features in this 2011 election advertisement.
The “dead” Cleveland CBD features in this 2011 election advertisement.

It’s not unusual for Cleveland’s CBD to be raised as an election issue. In October 2011, during the long mayoral campaign to replace Melva Hobson with Karen Williams, a video published by the Concerned Redlands Residents Association complained that the centre of Cleveland had gone from being a “licence to print money” to the “dead centre of Cleveland”.

Within a few months of being elected, Mayor Karen Williams announced a financial and regulatory incentives package aimed at kick-starting development of the Cleveland CBD.

It is time to stop the talk and start delivering the much-mooted Cleveland CBD redevelopment said Mayor Williams on Valentine’s Day in 2013, almost exactly seven years ago. The Council’s 2013 news release included the following statements by Mayor Karen Williams:

“Today is the day we start to take action,” she said.

“Redland City is an important part of south-east Queensland, and Cleveland is a vital and unique part of Redland City.

“There has been talk about the Cleveland CBD rejuvenation for over a decade. We need to do this right, and we need to do it now.

“We have an open mind and an open door, a work plan and we will be out there building relationships with stakeholders.

“This is about action now, not about pretty pictures.”

The Council budgeted $1,750,000 to assist property developers undertake projects in the Cleveland CBD, by discounting development assessment fees and infrastructure charges. Eligibility for these benefits was later extended to include tourism related projects anywhere in the Redlands.

The response was underwhelming, as detailed in a report to the Council’s general meeting on 27 January 2016. With little further interest shown by property investors, the Council decided on 21 June 2017 to axe the scheme.

Privatization of Cleveland car parks since the 2016 elections

Since the 2016 election the community has watched various efforts to privatize Cleveland CBD car parks by the Council’s property company, the Redland Investment Corporation

Part of the Wynyard Street car park was sold to a local real estate agent in September 2016. The transaction was undertaken without calling public tenders.

The Council has been busy privatising car parks in the Cleveland CBD.
Wynyard Street car park

The community was told that: “A two-story office block that will employ 50 staff and inject millions into the local economy is set to be built in the Cleveland Central Business District”.

That did not happen. Plans were then put forward for an even larger development. For the time being, this land is still available for use as all day parking.

The failed Chefs Inc. project did not provide any long term benefit to the Cleveland CBD
The Chefs Inc. sign still adorns the Cleveland Library car park

Also in September 2016, the Council voted to let Chefs Inc. set up a food market in the Cleveland Library Car Park.

“This is an exciting application that reinforces that Redland City is open for business,” said Mayor Williams.

The project failed spectacularly – the story is told in Open for business closed for winter: Chefs Inc.

Sale of the Council owned car park behind Woolworths to property owner Stockland was publicly revealed in March 2018. A year later Stockland offloaded its two Cleveland shopping centres to the Sydney-based Haben Property Fund.

A deal to construct a multi-storey aged care facility on the Council’s Doig Street car park was announced by Redland Investment Corporation in July 2018. Federal MP Andrew Laming said this development would spark a revitalization of the Cleveland CBD, according to a Redland City Bulletin story.

Planning decisions and the Cleveland CBD

Any plans for Cleveland CBD revitalization should assess Redland City planning decisions over the past two decades which have resulted in people living and shopping elsewhere.

Decision makers might also wonder why the Wellington Point business centre appears to be doing rather well, compared with Cleveland.

Other business on the Council’s meeting agenda

Included in the agenda for Wednesday’s council meeting are:

  • A report on road sealing for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands
  • A final version of the Redland City’s Transport Strategy
  • The six month budget review
  • A report on the most recent meeting of the Council’s Economic Development Advisory Board

There are two closed session items, scheduled for discussion without media or the public present:

  • 19.1 Land Acquisition for Boat Ramp and Ancillary Parking – Redland Bay
  • 19.2 Delegated Authority to the Chief Executive Officer – (T-1926-19/20-PCO) Conservation Maintenance Contract over $2,000,000

The agenda contents are shown below. The complete agenda, including reports, can be downloaded from the Council website.

Redlands2030 – 9 February 2020

0 thoughts on “Cleveland CBD revitalization on Council agenda”

  1. In 2012 Karen Williams bleated on About Melva causing the empty shops. Well haven’t the chickens come home to roost, it is worse since Williams got elected as Mayor. Add the dodgy containers at the back of the library car park as a monument to dumb arse decision making. Add car parks in Cleveland now being filled by council staff who come to move every 3 hours and block customers. Hope the other councillors don’t fall for Mitchell’s last hurrahs

    1. Toni,
      I agree with you about the chickens coming home to roost. But I fear a car park is not the answer. Nor is any symptom oriented campaign.
      I think what the area needs is to become a destination in and of it’s self. Street shop have significant issues competing for consumer’s attention and $’s .
      A multilevel car park behind the council Building . Would
      – A you allude to fill up with non retail customers…Council employees and visitor to council.
      – Then there’s the issue of parking fees. For a commercial operator to take over their charges would be as in Bris . commensurate with the rising property prices and what the market would bare(?) currently about $3-4 per hour. .
      Ask yourself given the ageing and welfare population can the population afford that as an extra cost? Would the pensioners are welfare walk the extra distance with a tribe of fractious children in the heat or pouring rain to get to the existing two centres? Doubtful.
      – The second issue is the spread out nature of strip shopping it takes longer than if they went to any of the other supermarket enclosed shopping mall.
      the problem as I see it is that this council’s agenda is bereft of what the Redlands needs. And that is largely down to the dominance of corporates over the councillors, their selection and ‘connections’.
      Most of the issue on the above agenda are SYMPTOMATIC based, short-term-ism rather than causal based. Trying to appease too many competing interests resulting in making nobody satisfied.
      Nothing on the agenda has no connection to a greater plan or how we are going to achieve it. The City’s ‘strategic plan’ is just a plan but IT LACKS ANY STRATEGY on how it will be achieved. Ergo they fail the primary criteria of their corporate counter parts. If the council ( representatives) leadership were in similar position in corporations… they wouldn’t be there long. Much less several electoral terms.

  2. Redland City’s Transport Strategy.
    Apart from road sealing issues on the islands, may I draw attention to head of transport officials within RCC, plus State government minister, Mr Bailey.
    Seems transport officials, State & local, are asleep at the wheel in that no attention appears to be made on safety of drivers travelling on local public roads. I say this because this past week yet another vehicle crash took place by intersection of Finucane/Old Cleveland Rd Capalaba where passer by noticed two ambulances, fire trucks, etc. with police directing traffic at 4-way intersection where we’ve seen too many crashes in past two years with four drivers killed on Finucane/Willlard Rd turnaround Campbell Newman finally erected after two young males were killed at known BLACK SPOT Labor’s Paul Lucas never took/had time to fix. The concreted section from turnaround to Elmhurst St is too close, can be confusing as one motorist smashed into the structure and died. Four people dying at the same place is too many within past two years.
    Re Serpentine Road smash in Redland Bay a few days ago that killed a young mother of three at a known place for hoons racing, executing burnouts having fun where it was reported in Courier Mail a car struck vehicle in front causing it to veer onto other side of road into head on crash killing the driver. WHY has nothing been done to stop this deadly game by those who seem to have nothing better to do at night & said to be a well known practice on this road?
    Roads near my home in Capalaba have speed bumps, & Abelia St has a ‘chicane’? (zigzagging through raised concrete surrounds) designed to slow traffic thereby saving lives. Making roads safer should be considered a priority by any government authority.
    Re ‘fine defaulters’. Local resident refuses to pay speeding fines preferring community work instead at Capalaba centre. Rather than making what one could say is akin to cutting out ‘paper dolls’….suggested to supervisor giving meaningful work to young males planting trees in parks, open spaces, picking up rubbish, etc. This could lead to finding a job within the community for those out of work. Informed suggestion paid off as I was shown photo on mobile phone taken of newly planted trees behind John Fredericks Park playing fields in Capalaba….a wonderful sight to see and hope to see more meaningful work provided for fine defaulters in future.

    1. Ami,
      Some analysis of your concerns should indicate
      – No amount of police enforcement is going to stop people doing irresponsible actions Sadly that is a feature of people in general Save you and I
      – One wonders if the public would tolerate or pay for the level of policing you seem to be calling for. As it stands today Most drivers when caught by the police for driving infractions don’t do a mia culpa and learn from the experience. Failing that they have/offer a multitude of excuses as to why the law/regulation doesn’t apply to them.
      Changing personalities/behaviours , action is is also known as Social Engineering ….an anathema to the ignorant/ and the recalcitrant.
      HENCE I cover it all by the saying “I’m neither racist, sexist, ageist I hate everyone EQUALLY. “

  3. Dear Editor,
    Perhaps I misunderstand the purpose of 2030
    I have tried to address issues that arise both on the refurbishment of Cleveland Main street, Tourism and the car park behind the council building. I’ve even tried to add factual enlightenment to some of the comments . I also accept that my original post was perhaps too pointed.
    All my comments have been bombed off.
    I am now asking for some guidance as to the specific purpose of the site.
    My concern is that there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to discuss issues objectively or with better cognisance of:-
    – the laws ,
    – knowledge of Strategic analysis
    – organizational Theory ( scientific definition or the latter)
    – The difference between Emotional wants as opposed to NEEDS.
    To me the notion that all comments are equal ( a very dubious word) is nonsense …. some are rooted in facts , well researched and in context ( see the above) and others well they’re knee jerk ignorant ( not knowing) emotionalism. The latter has no sound base onto base any sensible strategy ( requiring a wish list [would like to achieve/objective] and a well considered practical plan to achieve these objectives…. including mile stones and key issues)
    The Main street media is obsessed with sensation/ conflict/titillation ( for their own sake as means to maintain their entertainment seeking audience).
    The question I would like feedback on is 2030 just an anti site with a political agenda of its own
    stalking horse for some political perception ?
    Or are you about improving discussions and therefore decisions to benefit the residents? By allowing contexts, wider perspective etc.
    A number of comments on this site have at their foundation unfounded assumptions, again lack of knowledge, sense of proportion and wider context. They are often obsessed with process minutia without a strategic concept of how to achieve their aims.
    See my now bombed off responses to both Amy and Toni Both of whom I’ve met and had conversations with. Likewise Talty, Edwards and the Mayor and many other would be political players. Therefore well aware for their records and understanding, attitudes, alliances and agendas.
    Nobody has a monopoly of either the truth or a good idea(s) focusing on issue though the prisms of political/emotional/ideological dogma tends to distort both.
    By no means do I think or assert that I am the font of all wisdom and will/have admitted when I err. I’m happy to be corrected in that others may also learn and widen their views…….
    I think it’s clear that I have no agenda other than to improve the standard of conversation in the community to facilitate better electoral and societal outcomes for the public.

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