Victor Harbor | Developments & News

Developments in Regional South Australia. Including Port Lincoln, Victor Harbor, Wallaroo, Gawler and Mount Barker.
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Prince George
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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#61 Post by Prince George » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:07 pm

This sounds like madness - a city of sub-15,000 people is going to get a $250,000,000 development? Has anyone seen anything about the proposal itself, what in the name of all that's holy are they intending to build there?

We've seen too many towns get hollowed out by the big mall on the edge of town. You actually get that feeling of surprise when you find a functioning main street. This smacks of the same pattern, just dumping a big cash vacuum cleaner on a town - the Walmart theory of development. The Queen and I are ready to start a campaign of long-distance meddling - who do we contact?

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#62 Post by Prince George » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:28 pm

Answering my own question, you can find the details on Planning SA's site And my worst fears are realised, it's a single-level enclosed mall with a 1300 place carpark out front and 177 "medium density" residential lots hidden behind in a winding cul-de-sac layout.

I can't decide if I feel physically ill at the thought of it, or if my perverse sense of humour is giddy at the thought that anyone thinks we should spend $250M to give Victor a clone of Castle Plaza. No, I was right first time, it's nausea I'm feeling.

We'll be writing a strongly worded submission to this review board (submissions accepted until Jan 22, 2009).

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#63 Post by AtD » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:39 pm

Agreed, Prince George. This development is too far out of the town centre IMO. Maybe stumpjumper has corrupted me, but with Makris as the developer it does appear a bit suspicious. I can see why they would call the Le Cornu a major development, but this is just another supermarket.

Hopefully it's rejected and a better proposal is suggested for the town centre, however the hooting of NIMBYs may kill such a proposal anyway.

So it's almost a no-win scenario. Bad development or no development?

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#64 Post by SRW » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:36 am

AtD wrote:Maybe stumpjumper has corrupted me, but with Makris as the developer it does appear a bit suspicious.
I was afraid to say as much. But not just that, how (or why) is it that the Government has been so obliging? It all just leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.
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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#65 Post by Prince George » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:44 am

AtD wrote:So it's almost a no-win scenario. Bad development or no development?
So we have to argue the case for good development and not just be about opposing bad ones: yes, you have to fight a war on two fronts. I'm going to try to focus a bit on the positive aspects of this - Makris is proposing to spend a big pile of money on a regional town, that money could build a whole lotta good for the area. The PER also has some interesting thinking points about the rationale for it: it says that the lack of certain kinds of shopping in the area causes locals to travel regularly all the way to Collonades or Marion; putting some of these options in the area would mean that they could do that locally, which would be a Good Thing.

I can see that the area could have the potential to benefit from some suitable projects, but I don't think that this is an example of it. So what are the specific things that I would want to see changed?

1. The proposal is intending to attract people from outside the town itself, but is located too far from the town centre for it [the centre] to benefit as much as it might. For example, these visitors will presumably drive, and the development has a large carpark for them, but having parked your car there is no simple way to then visit any of the other parts of the town without getting back in your car and driving further.

2. While we understand that the development will require carparking space, the plan shows a carpark almost as large as the shopping centre itself. The same amount of parking could be provided in a smaller area with a modest multi-story structure. Also, the positioning of the carpark in front of the centre along the road will significantly reduce the attractiveness of the development. Even if the centre is an architectural treasure, it will be hard to see it from anywhere other than within the carpark itself, not from the street, not from the surrounding areas. It would be better to see the centre itself fronting Waitpinga Road and the carparking moved to behind or beside it; say, to the east of the centre which could then be on the corner with the intersection. That would also improve its appeal for people coming to the centre by walking, cycling, or by public transport (when that exists)

3. The first enclosed malls were built in Seattle, Detroit, and Minneapolis, all cities that share inhospitable weather for much of the year. Victor Harbor has perhaps the mildest weather in the state, the idea of building an enclosed mall there is at odds with its claims to energy-efficiency and sustainability. In addition, its climate is the reason that Victor Harbor attracts such a large number of seasonal visitors who are coming to spend time outdoors, an enclosed mall would have limited appeal to them (there are plenty of malls where they came from). An open area in the style of a traditional town retail area would seem to have better credentials for sustainability and superior appeal to visitors and locals.

4. The proposed residential area with its cul-de-sac layout is an artifact of the late 20th century. It should be preparing to offer connections to other new residences and streets in the areas immediately around it - developments that the PER predicts will happen in the next 20 years.

[Update: the Queen thought that I was sounding like some sort of sprawl apologist, I've tried to clear up what I was driving at at the start]

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#66 Post by loud » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:17 am

How do people propose Makris moves this thing closer to the town centre when he doesn't (to my knowledge) own land closer?

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#67 Post by Shuz » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:18 am

Land swap arrangement?

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#68 Post by loud » Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:00 am

Having now read the majority of the PER, I don't believe there is a more appropriate site for this development.

Why?

1) Professional property consultants have carried out significant investigations into the suitability of alternative locations
2) The sheer size of this development precludes it from moving any closer to the town centre (due to existing land uses)
3) I don't see how you can fit this development in the town centre - when you drop an overlay of the size of the development over the town centre, it completely covers it!

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#69 Post by Professor » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:40 pm

No one proposes to spend a quarter of a billion $$$$$ on a dud idea. There are many cashed-up people living there and increasing holiday / commuter trade. The range of shopping opportunities at Victor is quite limited at present and prices are high due to low competition. The proposed location is back away from the existing developed areas and looks to the future for growth and increased residential population nearby.

Maybe having it consolidated into a two level centre would have been better but the folks at Victor deserve the same level of choice and diversity as we get in Adeaide.

If it meets a need and works financially, that's OK. It's only a shopping centre and does not impact on the coasline at all, which is the area really worth preserving.

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#70 Post by crawf » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:36 pm

It should be down-graded into a homemaker centre and small shopping centre complex including a supermaket, maybe a discount department store and a few specialist stores.

I know Victor is growing fast, but this current development is just ridiculous and will kill off the local town centre.

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#71 Post by loud » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:21 pm

crawf wrote:It should be down-graded into a homemaker centre and small shopping centre complex including a supermaket, maybe a discount department store and a few specialist stores.

I know Victor is growing fast, but this current development is just ridiculous and will kill off the local town centre.
Is that based on gut feel or actual research?

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#72 Post by crawf » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:55 pm

Its a well known fact that large shopping centres can hurt or kill off local town centres.

This development will entice businesses in the town centre to move to this area, its happened in many towns and cities in Australia.

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#73 Post by Prince George » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:51 pm

For anybody that's wondering why people would get so worked up about "just a shopping centre", the best explanation would be to buy a ticket over to the states, rent a car, and start driving around. (I know, I know, we're always harping on about America, but sometimes it's like having a crystal ball - and a lot of what we see, we hate) Since that's impractical, I'll give you a couple of virtual tours.

Mount Vernon is about an hour north of Seattle. It's the major centre of a large agricultural region and in 1998 was voted the "#1 Small City in the USA". It's got a reasonably attractive town centre, but there's not much going on down there. Considering there is a number of people with a good income living in the area, why wouldn't the downtown be bustling? Perhaps it's got something to do with Burlington's massive expanse of shopping malls that starts a few miles away and spreads out in all directions.

If you'd prefer an example that's a coastal town, try Eureka on the northern California coast. It has an amazing collection of Victorian era buildings, including one that is amongst the most photographed buildings in the country - the Carson Mansion. But still they built the Bayview Mall a few miles south. Shops started closing in the town centre, so the city declared itself to be a "Main St town" and changed its planning to restrict that kind of development in the future. The reason? Eureka needs to keep its historic district in a healthy state to attract tourism from places like San Francisco. It's too isolated to get away with being mediocre.

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#74 Post by AtD » Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:04 pm

loud wrote:Having now read the majority of the PER, I don't believe there is a more appropriate site for this development.

Why?

1) Professional property consultants have carried out significant investigations into the suitability of alternative locations
2) The sheer size of this development precludes it from moving any closer to the town centre (due to existing land uses)
3) I don't see how you can fit this development in the town centre - when you drop an overlay of the size of the development over the town centre, it completely covers it!
The sheer 'size' is more to do with the total lack of density - it's a single level complex with open air car parking - ie, it's the cheapest possible design with appalling use of space. The developer seems to have taken this laziness in utilisation and used it as the foundation behind the choice of site.
Professor wrote:No one proposes to spend a quarter of a billion $$$$$ on a dud idea. There are many cashed-up people living there and increasing holiday / commuter trade. The range of shopping opportunities at Victor is quite limited at present and prices are high due to low competition. The proposed location is back away from the existing developed areas and looks to the future for growth and increased residential population nearby.

Maybe having it consolidated into a two level centre would have been better but the folks at Victor deserve the same level of choice and diversity as we get in Adeaide.

If it meets a need and works financially, that's OK. It's only a shopping centre and does not impact on the coasline at all, which is the area really worth preserving.
That point is totally irrelevant to the debate. The return on investment of a development should never be a concern for development approval. It is only a concern of the investors because they are the entities who benefit from returns. The role of the planning approval process is to consider the impact on the community, not investors, as it is the community that benefits from good planning and suffers from poor planning.

Nor should it be a concern of the approval process if the developer does or does not own any better site. Weather such a site exists or not should be considered, but the ownership is not an issue. If a development was profitable, the owner of the ideal site has an incentive to sell or undertake development themselves.

Market considerations such as profitability and ownership should be left to the market.
Community considerations, such as impact on the urban environment, should be left to the community.
It is the blurring of these two lines which I believe corrupts democracy. </soap box>

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Re: Makris Encounter Bay dev't

#75 Post by danielphin » Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:52 pm

How do people propose Makris moves this thing closer to the town centre when he doesn't (to my knowledge) own land closer?
This is the biggest allotment of land closest to the primary residential and CBD areas. The next biggest land grab is in another suburb.

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