$200m Derwent Entertainment Centre vision wins early support

Wilkinson Point, including the Derwent Entertainment Centre, would be transformed under a masterplan by NBL owner Larry Kestelman.

The Glenorchy Ratepayers Association has given a cautious thumbs up to NBL owner Larry Kestelman’s masterplan for the Derwent Entertainment Centre and Wilkinsons Point.

As revealed by the Mercury, Kestelman’s $200 million plan for the lifestyle precinct includes a major upgrade of the DEC as well as a high-performance centre, indoor sports facility, hotel, restaurants, retail shopping and increased public transport links.

Association president Phil Butler said Mr Kestelman’s vision was in keeping with the council’s long-term plan with the under-utilised area.

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“It looks very positive, it certainly touches on most of the points that have been in the visionary statement that we developed over a number of years,” Butler says.

“Obviously the devil is in the detail but from what I’ve seen of the proposal thus far, it certainly goes a long way to achieving the vision.

“We need to test it against the planning scheme, but conceptually it looks pretty good.

“Aesthetics is obviously of interest, but we are happy there is preservation of the foreshore and GASP [Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park] and the access road through the site will remain in public hands so it touches those bases pretty nicely.

“And it would seem from the concept plans it would bookend the Mona development very nicely as well, the two points either side of Elwick Bay.”

Glenorchy Ratepayers Association president Phil Butler has given a cautious approval to the masterplan.

Central to the Kestelman’s proposal is State Government funding for the redevelopment of the DEC to bring it up to NBL standard, with the league owner saying he would not progress without this support.

Early estimates have had this at $20 million, but State Growth Minister Michael Ferguson says negotiations are continuing about how much state funding will be required.

“It is too early for that but we are certainly involved in some really good discussions,” Ferguson says.

“There are some exciting opportunities here but the Government will be taking a careful approach to make sure any potential use of taxpayer money would only be if it was a very good value proposition.”

Glenorchy Mayor Kristie Johnston says negotiations over the sale of the DEC and Wilkinsons Point are progressing well, as demonstrated by Kestelman producing his long-term vision for the site.

She says his masterplan will need an amendment to the council’s planning scheme before going to the Glenorchy Planning Authority and then the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

She says the 120-day exclusive negotiation timeframe over the sale with Kestelman will expire next month, but the council has the option of extending it if an acceptable outcome has not been reached by then.

This article from The Mercury originally appeared as “NBL boss’s grand $200 million DEC vision receives early support”.