Leading property owners and commercial developers the Capital Holdings Group said today that its time for the ACT Government to get serious about sorting out continuing car parking problems in Phillip.
“Our properties have over 170 on site car parks for owners and staff” said Ian Oliver, Managing Director of the Capital Centre and the Phillip Medical Centre. “Our car parking facilities have and are regularly illegally used by visitors to adjacent businesses because they can’t find a parking spot in Colbee Ct and we are one of the few businesses that have invested in parking for our businesses”. He said. Most businesses rely on street parking for customers and visitors.
It’s Time for the ACT to Sort Out Car Parking in Phillip
“The ACT Government should introduce pay parking in Colbee Ct and adjoining Courts along with redevelopment of the centre strips for parking. Whilst it’s all very nice to have a few trees and grass in those centre strips, the Government needs to support businesses by making it easier for shoppers and visitors to call into local Phillip businesses. These small strips, redeployed to parking would help solve our parking problems.
They could even offer a Crown lease for the centre space to a car park operator, incorporating green space that is actually useable rather than the scrappy grass that’s there now. An opportunity exists for a vibrant area to be developed, helping traders and visitors alike.
People will take the easy way out – they will shop and visit businesses where parking is easier. The lack of parking is causing agitation between businesses and that should not be happening”. Oliver said.
“The ACT Government needs to step up and help local traders. Business is not as easy as you think and local traders need help and with a few small changes, adding some much needed parking would really help. The Government has raked in plenty of cash for ‘change of use” variations to Crown leases and its time they spent some of the money that have collected from local business to update infrastructure. After all it’s not a donation!” Oliver said.
The parking issues are compounded by a material change in tenancy mix over the years. Colbee Ct was designed in the mid-seventies originally around retailing and Service and Professional businesses seeking a rent haven have taken up tenancies, applying pressure with additional staff, all applying pressure on the available parking. There is a change in tenancy mix from the original concept and Government infrastructure has not kept pace.
“When we built the Capital Centre, we invested over 4 million dollars in an underground car park, providing parking for over 100 cars, Motorbikes and pushbikes. We knew that our centre would need more parking than what we could create at ground level. There are very few days that there are vacant car spaces in our Centre.
We have been forced to erect ugly signs to remind the general public that parking at the Capital Centre is for its visitors and staff only. Our major tenant the Phillip Medical Centre have been forced to fit boom gates to the property so that their customers can find a parking space. Before the erection of boom gates parking spaces were being abused by other and adjoining businesses staff” Oliver said.
The ACT has little private sector business in comparison to other cities and Canberra is and always will be essentially a public service city, but public servants are catered for with parking in all three town centres. Phillip is a core part of Canberra’s commercial district – it’s a vibrant area, currently enjoying a resurgence in new buildings and new businesses relocating, providing plenty of private sector jobs.
Phillip is situated mid-way between Civic and Tuggeranong, it’s an ideal place for business and it’s the responsibility of the ACT Government to help traders with better parking facilities, especially if further Phillip redevelopment continues.