Future of Indiana Restaurant in doubt

AGREEMENTS for a proposed $4.7m million redevelopment of the Indiana Restaurant on Cottesloe Beach may scrapped because of a problem with the building’s lease at special meeting of Cottesloe Council today

Council chief executive Mat Humfrey said council had had a “technical issue” with the restaurant’s leasees.

Mr Humfrey said its outcome could affect the financial information in a council-proposed business plan for the redevelopment.

Last year, it was proposed the State Government spend $1.775m, the restaurant $1.3m, and the council the remainder to build a breezeway to ventilate contentiously unclean public toilets under the Indiana, and a new kiosk on a concrete deck to Marine Parade by mid-2017.

The work would have been complete before talks on a new 15-year lease for the restaurant.

However, a council staff report for tonight said “events” had occurred since another report that had underpinned a business plan and a heads of agreement for the project agreed to put it out for public comment last year.

A report said subsequent legal advice had been “thorough and considerable”, and the issue which was now apparent would affect the long-long term lease, and it had to be resolved before any new business plan.

“If the business plan and Heads of Agreement are set aside, any redevelopment would need to be advertised with an appropriate business plan before it could proceed,’ Mr Humfrey said.

Controversy has dogged the restaurant since it was built in the mid-1990s, when claims were made about potential concrete cancer and its 50-year lease having no rent increases.

In 2008, restaurant operations manager Chris Taylor criticised the council when it rejected a $1.5m refurbishment of the restaurant.

There have been on-going complaints about unclean public toilets, which residents claim are the restaurant’s responsibility.

“We welcome a decision at the special meeting that will resolve the issues with the toilets, in line with those design put forward by local architect Laurie Scanlan last year,” Cottesloe Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary Yvonne Hart said.

Mr Taylor has been contacted for comment.

The meeting is at the Cottesloe Civic Centre, Broome Street, Cottesloe at 7pm.