Mayor Gary Brennan is sticking by Bunbury City Council’s multi-million-dollar deal on a major CBD building, despite it still being vacant more than a year on.
The council paid $2.4 million for the former South’s Furniture building following a decision in March last year.
The deal sparked both angst and support among the council and has been a talking point in the community since.
While the council’s decision was based on a long-term vision for the building – most likely to be included in a proposed civic and cultural precinct – it is looking to bring in some money from the deal in the short-term.
The council has tasked professional agents, Commercial Realty, with finding a tenant, but so far the building remains vacant.
Mr Brennan said the council would “obviously” prefer to have a tenant, but he was confident the council’s decision would prove beneficial in the future.
“That building was purchased for the very long-term, but obviously any short-term income would be welcomed,” Mr Brennan said.
“And also to have that place activated and employing people which would bring more employees and their customers into the CBD – anything that we can do to achieve that is always a good outcome.”
Mr Brennan said the building’s ultimate use was with the leasing agents, but there was a wide range of opportunities available.
“The central area zoning contemplates probably the widest types of uses than elsewhere so practically anything, apart from obviously industrial activities, can go into that area,” he said.
“It’s a large floor – about 1300sq m of floor space – so it’s a very large building to occupy.”
Commercial Realty principal Mike Jenkins said there had been “a little bit” of interest in the building with use as office space gaining the most attention.
“It’s there, it’s available, it’s pretty visible that it’s vacant and available and we went through an extensive marketing campaign a few months ago,” Mr Jenkins said.
“That resulted in a number of inquiries from a number of parties including offices and bulky goods type operators, none of that came to fruition.
“The most recent interest we have is as an office, there’s still a little bit of interest in that regard but at this point there’s been no commitments made.”