MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire has bought Rosebud Central Shopping Centre in Wannaeue Place for $5.1 million.
It could become the location of the shire’s proposed multi-million dollar Southern Peninsula Aquatic Centre (SPA).
The shopping centre is currently occupied by 10 specialty shops and Ritchies IGA supermarket, whose lease expires next July. The centre had been on the market since January with an asking price of $6.1 million.
It is next to Rosebud Library, adjacent to Rosebud Cinemas and has a large car park.
The council also announced on Monday night it had bought for $770,000 a property next to Rosebud Central, 9-11 Ninth Ave, currently occupied by Brown Gouge Dry Cleaners.
The council will now investigate if the aquatic centre can be built in the central location. The project also could include a bigger library.
The move comes after the council was told by geotechnical experts that building on the sandy foreshore site near Rosebud Memorial Hall could add as much as $7 million to the cost of SPA.
Putting SPA at Rosebud Central would be a huge boost for retailers and preserve the foreshore.
On Tuesday, Rosebud Ward councillor David Gibb told The News he was delighted the council had bought the shopping centre and dry cleaners.
In addition to providing an option for SPA, the purchases would assist progression of the Rosebud structure plan, he said.
Cr Gibb said the investigation into the suitability of the foreshore and shopping centre sites for SPA would take into account “the triple bottom line – social, economic and environmental issues”.
Alan Nelsen, president of Mornington Peninsula Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, which had encouraged the council to buy Rosebud Central since earlier this year, said he was pleased with the decision.
“It gives the shire the opportunity to take SPA off the foreshore, which has been a highly contentious decision and was not supported by all members of the community,” he said.
Cr Gibb said the report about building SPA at Rosebud Central would be an issue for the new council, which will be elected on 27 October.