Ms Scaffidi said that while the City did not manage the buildings on Beaufort Street ” between Aberdeen and Newcastle streets ” it was concerned character buildings, which have long been a feature of the area, were vacant.
‘No doubt the MRA has a vision for this stretch of street, but they need to commit to getting the buildings up to scratch or sell them to someone who will,’ she said.
Leadlight artist Bob Mainstone was given a month to vacate one of the MRA-owned buildings in 2012, after working there for more than 30 years.
The MRA told Mr Mainstone they planned to refurbish the buildings, but the buildings have sat empty since he was evicted.
Mr Mainstone said it was disgraceful that he was kicked out when he was happy to continue paying rent.
‘It’s an absolute disgrace that in a place like Northbridge, an arts centre, they would kick us out,’ the 84-year-old said.
‘I thought when we moved out, they would have got straight on it and refurbished.
‘They have done nothing.’
MRA chief executive Kieran Kinsella said the authority needed to take vacant possession of the site in 2012 to allow them to investigate the building, determine its condition and scope any improvement works.
‘The MRA is currently investigating options for the buildings including refurbishment for potential leasing purposes, or sale,’ Mr Kinsella said.
‘The MRA has been approached about the use of the space, however, the building has not been fit for purpose.’
Ms Scaffidi said the MRA should have worked more closely with businesses using the buildings instead of moving them on.
‘Craftsmen such as Bob Mainstone have made a contribution to Northbridge over time and it’s sad that they have been forced out,’ she said.
‘You can’t just create heritage from scratch.’
Ms Scaffidi did credit the MRA for commissioning a design project on the shopfront windows, which she said has brightened up the area.