DELAYS to the start of construction of the Iconic Scarborough towers presents an opportunity to alleviate parking problems, according to a local business owner.
Work on 3 Oceans’ 43-storey and 33-storey towers at the corner of West Coast Highway and Scarborough Beach Road was initially planned to begin this month but has been pushed back following the departure of managing director Dyno Zhang in December.
The site was cleared late last year and a spokesman said the developer expected to begin construction in the “coming months”.
“We are currently bolstering our project team, which includes recruiting a new general manager with additional skills and experience,” he said.
Scarborough business owner and Scarborough Beach Association chairman Wayne Bowen believed the large number of developments being built in the beachside suburb could help temporarily increase parking options.
The redeveloped foreshore is regularly packed with visitors and finding a parking space is rare during peak times, including the popular weekly Scarborough Sunset Markets.
“With some vision, there is a real opportunity to provide some temporary parking relief within the Scarborough Beach front precinct, by utilising vacant land areas for parking,” he said.
“It could be a condition of any commercial development approval, that vacant commercial land of a certain size, if going to be left vacant for a period of over, say three months, must be made available, for private free parking.
“This could provide for significant relief to the parking congestion issues for an extended period, whilst the authorities are hopefully working toward a more permanent solution – hopefully by way of a better public transport option.”
Mr Bowen believed the current process to turn 3 Oceans’ vacant site into parking may appear too “daunting” and result in the area left unused for six months or more.
He wanted the process simplified and encouraged developers to engage more with the community.
A 3 Oceans’ spokesman said it was considering the parking proposal and had discussed it with local businesses with the aim of assisting where possible.
“However, we understand that any decision to potentially use this construction site for parking would be subject to a wide range of assessments including public safety, security and traffic modelling along with relevant approvals,” he said.
As part of planning approval granted in June, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority created a working group to address traffic and transport issues around the towers development.
The group includes representatives from Main Roads, the Department of Transport and City of Stirling, with mayor Mark Irwin previously telling Community News this would support the City’s aim of creating light rail from Glendalough station to the beach.