Plaza purchase as mayor clarifies companies wind-up
IPSWICH City Properties will progress with the acquisition of Ipswich City Plaza, with mayor Andrew Antoniolli clarifying the operational status of council-owned companies.
At the council's ordinary meeting this week councillors endorsed a move by Ipswich City Properties to purchase the building at 2 Bell Street.
The council says it is progressing with a strategic plan to wind-up its companies.
Cr Antoniolli clarified the position he took around Ipswich City Properties during the mayoral by-election.
"I was always quite clear that Ipswich City Properties would continue because we had progressed so far,” he said.
"It would be quite complex to unscramble the egg.”
Ipswich City Properties, incorporated in March 2009, is designed to undertake activities required to complete the acquisition, redevelopment, management and sale of Ipswich City Square and 143 Brisbane Street.
Cr Antoniolli said the company needed to continue doing that work.
"Obviously, at the time 2 Bell Street wasn't in our reckoning because it wasn't for sale,” he said.
"It would be remiss of us as a council, as well, to not look at those opportunities.”
The purchase of Ipswich City Plaza for $5.9 million was a "once-only opportunity for the city” according to Cr Antoniolli.
Stamp duty and legal costs are expected to increase the purchase price to about $6.25 million.
The plaza includes a lower-level retail complex and office accommodation on the seven upper floors.
The gross annual income of the plaza site is recorded at $705,343 per annum, producing a $130,000 surplus after leasing and financing expenditure is calculated.
It was offered for sale after the appointment of KordaMentha as receivers and managers of the plaza earlier this year.
Cr Antoniolli said better cohesion would be achieved through the purchased of the property by a council-owned company.
"It was felt best to handle it under the one arrangement and that way if we need to incorporate number 2 Bell Street into some of our work and designs, it would be far easier to deal with that under Ipswich City Properties,” he said.
Due diligence will be undertaken.