Seven years after the fire that saw the Liverpool Street Myer complex burn down, the re-build has been given the green light, with stage one expected to be completed by December 2015.
On June 12, the Tasmanian Government endorsed the Tasmanian Development Board recommendation provide a $15 million loan to Kalis Properties, securing the entire Myer Hobart project.
Premier, Will Hodgman, said the loan was provided on commercial terms, at no cost to taxpayers, with the number one priority of jobs in mind.
“The loan is a strong vote of confidence in the project from the government as well as in the future of retailing in Hobart,” Mr Hodgman said.
The business sector say the redevelopment will revitalise the Hobart CBD, as well as making significant contributions to the Tasmanian economy.
Focus has been placed on the use of local resources for the redevelopment, with construction partner Hutchinsons Builders planning to use Tasmanian subcontractors in the development.
Kalis Properties Managing Director, Emmanuel Kalis, said the development was not only exciting for the company, but also for Tasmania.
“Not only will it be a world-class retail experience when we open, but it will also inject $100 million into the Tasmanian economy over the next three years of construction, directly and indirectly employing approximately 500 people,” Mr Kalis said.
“We greatly appreciate the support of the State Government and the City of Hobart – both parties have been extremely supportive.”
The decision by the Government and Kalis Developments was a huge confidence boost for the State, according to TCCI CEO, Michael Bailey.
“The Tasmanian Development Board’s (TDB) recommendation to provide the $15m was needed to get the construction ball rolling and removing a blot on the Hobart CBD landscape,” Mr Bailey said.
“This is very different to a government providing a hand out to an uncompetitive business.
“Apart from a confidence boost, it will add 500 direct and indirect jobs during construction and potentially 50 to 80 permanent and casual retail positions.
“I hope the TDB continues to recommend loan for businesses and developers looking to build and expand job creating opportunities.”
Stage one of the development, commencing in June 2014, is the five-storey Myer store on Liverpool Street.
Stage two development works on Murray Street will commence after stage one opens in December 2015 and will feature a retail galleria, which will transform the Murray Street site and include speciality shops and cafes across three storeys. The stage two works are hoped to be completed by mid-2017.
Sales potential for the retail specialty area has been estimated at $35.2 million in its first full year of operation.
Once the first two stages are complete, development works on the third stage will commence, which will include a 10 storey hotel and rooftop bar above the retail galleria on Murray Street.
The Icon Complex is set to attract major national and international high-end fashion and lifestyle brands, drawing shoppers into the Hobart CBD.