Council nudged to give Wigmore Arcade a $1m cheapie remake

A MAJOR redevelopment of Wigmore Arcade in Ballina's CBD could be scrapped in favour of a much cheaper "cosmetic upgrade".

Councillors will this afternoon consider a report from the Commercial Services staff which outlines some of the options available in moving forward with the project.

So far the process has identified issues in continuing with the redevelopment of the arcade, which is estimated to cost about $3 million.

Problems include conforming to the new minimum finished floor level heights as required under Ballina Development Control Plan.

It is expected there would be "major issues" in staging the construction and maintaining pedestrian access, as well as keeping access to amenities and relocating existing tenants while works are done.

As a result of these constraints, a full review of the redevelopment proposal has been done and all consultants have been placed on hold until further notice.

Council staff will now recommend to councillors that a cosmetic upgrade should be done instead.

This could cost about $1 million, and might include upgrades to the toilets and arcade lights, repairs to the roof sheets, modern new shop fronts for all arcade tenancies, paint works and a general "re-image" for the complex.

"This option is recommended given changing market conditions and momentum that is starting to build with leasing of vacant shops on the River St section of the complex and shops within the arcade," the council report states.

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