DEVONPORT City Council last week released its LIVING CITY Master Plan, which aims to transform the city through the creation of new retail, business/service and waterfront precincts and is expected to generate $250 million in investment over a five to eight-year construction period.
The Master Plan provides a high-level view of the three proposed precincts – Business and Services, Retail and Waterfront - which are centred on highlighting Tasmania's North West region and its tourism, arts, food and services.
Key features of the Master Plan include a Tasmanian food market, a hotel with a restaurant and café strip, a civic community building housing a contemporary library and learning centre and a performing arts and large function space to complement the existing entertainment and convention centre.
It also outlines plans for the development of a new courthouse adjacent to Devonport police station, a 900-space multi-storey car park and walkways and linkages to better connect the three precincts.
Devonport Mayor Steve Martin said the Master Plan addresses fragmentation in the city and high unemployment. He added that it also seeks to create future opportunities that are achievable, robust and for the long term.
"LIVING CITY answers the question of Devonport's role in the region and gives the city an identity as the retail and service hub serving the North West of Tasmania,'' Cr Martin said.
"We have never been clearer on what Devonport's city centre needs to look like and how it needs to function for the benefit of all. Finally, we will have a connected city - one that creates a hub for families, tourists and business.''
The Master Plan is the culmination of a 30-year vision to open the heart of the city to the waterfront and four years of planning, research and community engagement.
"We have implemented feedback from the community into the Master Plan to create a city the people want,'' Cr Martin said.
LIVING CITY Independent Community Taskforce chairman Royce Fairbrother said the Master Plan addressed an urgent need for a long-term sustainable solution to turn the tide on current economic woes.
"LIVING CITY has the potential to be a game-changer for Devonport and the Cradle Coast region by generating jobs, economic development and population growth,'' Mr Fairbrother said.
"Now is the time for the community and interested parties to work together to make LIVING CITY a reality and bring much needed hope and prosperity to the region. The adoption of the Master Plan will mark a defining moment in Devonport's history.''
By the end of the year, the implementation phase is due to begin, with detailed design and development approval processes under way. Subject to approvals and funding being resolved, onsite construction could start as soon as 2015.