Parks, car parks, child care centres investigated

A screenshot from Domain showing the sale price of $2.33million for land next to the Capalaba Football Club.
A screenshot from Domain showing the sale price of $2.33million for land next to the Capalaba Football Club.

A RANGE of city parks, car parks, child care centres and community assets were secretly investigated for sale by Redland City Council a month before it set up a property investment company.

Leaked documents from a closed-door council workshop in October, show council investigated selling 35 properties, owned by ratepayers.

The workshop reviewed all civic landholdings and identified properties that did not meet Redlands Open Space Strategy or the Redlands 2030 Community Plan. 

The confidential document shows council decided to hold off listing 12 of the 35 properties from the sales register.

However, a month later, on November 26, council set up its wholly owned subsidiary investment company, Redland Investment Corporation, which only listed one site at 108 Old Cleveland Road, Capalaba as being surplus.

In a statement last week, council said only 108 Old Cleveland Road, Capalaba, had been transferred to the corporation since it was established.

Mayor Karen Williams said the review was about getting value for residents by looking at smarter ways to manage the city’s land.

“Any return will go back to the community to benefit the community so we aren’t as reliant on rates,” she said.

“Council never expected to sell all these land parcels, we are looking at all options as we have always done, including leasing the properties, entering partnerships or keeping the properties.”

The properties considered surplus underwent assessment to weigh up the benefits of keeping the land against the cost of maintaining, fencing, insuring and keeping them free from pests.

However, a number of other properties were still under investigation for their possible sale.

In  2012, council’s Open Space Strategy identified some parks as surplus.

Many of the properties are small parks or vacant blocks of land, while others are car parks such as the one in Doig Street, Cleveland.

Other properties investigated for sale included 49-57 Quarry Road, Birkdale, which has been a council park since 1988.  The site was likely to be included in the planning scheme for community consultation.

Another controversial site investigated was at 7 John Street, Cleveland, currently designated as open space and used by a local kindergarten along with the Village Green at 369-375 Main Road, Wellington Point.

Sycamore Parade at Victoria Point was also discussed and it was decided council would include the site in the planning scheme to gauge community opinion.

The Woolworth's car park in Cleveland, a child care centre at 1-21 Degen Road, Capalaba, and the library in Cleveland were also investigated for sale but council ruled it was too early to divest them via the property company.

The first property to be listed by the corporation, 108 Old Cleveland Road, Capalaba, was sold in April to an adjoining landowner for $2.33million, which council said was above market value and its sale would help rejuvenate a nearby shopping strip.

The vacant block was being used as a car park for visitors to Capalaba’s Bulldog Soccer Club at John Fredericks Park and council said it would provide additional off-street car parking adjacent to the soccer oval.

The council defended its decision to establish the property investment corporation and said it would help better manage surplus land, provide financial dividends to council and keep downward pressure on rates. 

It also follows in the footsteps of neighbouring councils Brisbane City, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Ipswich which created subsidiary companies several years ago.

Here are the properties listed in the leaked document from the October 28 closed-door workshop.

1) 61 McMillan Road, Alexandra Hills

2) 53 Fisher Road, Thorneside 

3) 49-57 Quarry Road, Birkdale

4) 141 Bunker Road, Victoria Point

5) 377-385 Redland Bay Road Capalaba 

6) 1A Bath STreet, Birkdale 

7) Wynyard Street, Cleveland

8) 7 John Street, Cleveland

9) Woolworths Car park, Cleveland

10) 1-21 Degen Road, Capalaba

11) 9-11 Oaklands Street, Alexnadra Hills

12) Library Building, Cleveland

13) 369-375 Main Road, Wellington Point 

14) 108 Old Cleveland Road, Capalaba

15) 16-20 Alma Street, Thorneside 

16) 2A Scotby Court, Alexandra Hills

17) 126A VCienna Road, Alexandra Hills

18) 4 Wills Lane, Capalaba

19) 68 Sycamore Paradfe, Victoria Point

20) 53 Hamilton Street, Redland Bay 

21) 31 Thompson Esplanade, Victoria Point

22) 46A Alexandra Circuit, Alexandra Hills

23) 2A Paxton Street, Cleveland 

24) 4 Elmhurst Street, Capalaba

25) 59 Finucane Road, Capalaba

26) 4-10 Doig Street (car park) cleveland

27) 14-24 Rickey Street, Capalaba Library Area 

28) 20 Noeleen Street, Capalaba 

29) 521 Old Cleveland Road East, Birkdale

30) 50-52 Queens Esplanade, Thorneside 

31) 48-52 Vienna Road, Alexandra Hills (Sussex Street Park)

32) 84 Ferry Road, Thorneside

33) 57-65 Dinwoodie Road, Thornlands 

34) 62 Bowen Street, Capalaba

35) 20-24 Kate Street, Macleay Island