U Tas desirable and less so real-estate

There’s a two-month wait for more detail on the Uni Tas plan to move muchly from Sandy Bay to the city

A staff briefing reveals planning for a $500m spend in Hobart, supported by debt and “balance sheet optimisation,” which appears to be extracting cash from existing assets. VC Rufus Black says the master-plan for its CBD sites is due within two months.

As to what is in it U Tas is not talking, other than to point to all the consultation that has already occurred and add that there is more to come.

The move to transfer much of the university into town instead of rebuilding at the Sandy Bay campus has been a while coming and is not especially popular with some staff (CMM April 9 2019) or, at least initially, in the city-community (CMM April 23). But management seems set on it happening, presumably not least because U Tas has been buying up property in town and the university’s council has signed-off on the strategy.

And presumably to help pay for the city expansion, the staff brief reports on “three key opportunities… to reimagine the role and function of the Sandy Bay campus;”  “a new mixed use destination with ancillary services,” “unlock missing markets” and “new retail and green pedestrian nodes.”

So what’s with the two month wait Professor Black is adamant applies before anything is announced?

Perhaps there are things still to do in the community comms – the recent staff briefing states “to finalise the plan, we will continue to engage with internal and external communities.”

Or perhaps there are development application issues still to address. Just before Christmas the university lost a state  Supreme Court case concerning its desire to amend the Hobart Planning Scheme as it applied to land on Sandy Bay Campus, now zoned for university purposes. U Tas wants to subdivide and sell land on the upper campus.