In a significant move for the city’s future, Devonport City Council has reached an agreement with Indie Education for the sale of part of 29 Fenton Way, located north of the Harris Scarfe carpark.
With a sale contract being finalised, it sets the stage for an ambitious $15 million, three-storey development, ensuring the growth and momentum generated by Devonport’s Living City initiative continues.
The building’s design phase is already underway, and a Development Application is anticipated to be lodged later this year. Construction is scheduled to commence before the end of 2024.
This project marks the next substantial progression of Council’s Living City vision. Following the completion of Stage One paranaple convention centre and Stage Two Waterfront Precinct, this third major stage focusses on attracting new commercial and private-sector investment in the vicinity of the old library building, to the west of Market Square. The development is the latest venture to be confirmed as part of the Living City Stage Three initiative, in addition to the Cycling hub and apartment development announced last year and expected to start construction next month.
“This significant new development provides a permanent location for Indie Education. The project also allows the demolition of the old library building, which will open up a new area of approximately 4000m2 for further retail, commercial, and inner-city residential opportunities,” Mayor Jarman said.
“Indie School has been instrumental in offering alternative educational options for young people who find challenges with the standard school model. Their success in providing qualifications for these students is a credit to the organisation’s dedication and the staff involved.”
The entire project is fully funded by Indie Education. The land purchase from the Council is based on an independent market valuation. During the construction phase, there may be some impact on traffic in the vicinity and plans to minimise this disruption are being considered. In the long term, following the demolition of the old library building, Council intends to realign Fenton Way straight through with Fenton Street, improving the area’s infrastructure and accessibility.
Rod Wangman, CEO of Indie Education, comments, “Indie are now well established in Devonport having first come to the City in 2018. We have seen how the council have been proactive in growing Devonport and have been very impressed with what they have achieved. It has given us confidence to invest in our own property for not only a two-level Indie Education school facility but a third level where we can base head office functions, servicing our growing footprint in Tasmania.”
“We like to use local contractors and suppliers and are working with the team at Fairbrother Pty Ltd to head up the construction. Subject to approvals they are confident they can start construction during 2024 in preparation for a 2026 opening.”
“This new building will be separate from the existing Devonport Indie School, which will continue its operations without any impact on the students.” Mr Wangman said.
This development signifies a major step forward in the growth of Devonport, blending educational advancement with urban development, and showcasing the collaborative efforts of the Devonport City Council and Indie Education.