by Michael Mata
This week, members of the Adelaide City Council said they would write to the State Government regarding a piece of derelict city land on the corner of King William St, Wright St, and Mill St. The decision was made after councilor and lawyer Alex Antic raised the issue.
Antic referred to the empty lot as a “fenced-off wasteland” and suggested the lot should be turned into a temporary community park until the State Government finally redevelops the courts precinct.
“There’s a crumbling [old Supreme Court] building [on Gouger St] that is matched by a derelict open space that is these days nothing more than a portaloo surrounded by cyclone fencing,” Antic said. “This has become the legal profession’s Le Cornu site, and I think there’s some room there to use the space in the interim, quite cheaply, for an open community park.”
Antic was referring to the infamous Le Cornu furniture warehouse situated in O’Connell Street in North Adelaide. The warehouse opened in 1968 but has been vacant since 1989. The derelict site has been the subject of numerous failed redevelopment attempts by various owners.
Antic further stated that he hoped the State Government would show good faith and pay for the lot’s redevelopment and not leave the burden to ratepayers. “If we are going to wait another decade for a new Court precinct, I’d at least like to see that space used in the meantime.”
Antic’s sentiments are echoed by many residents, patrons, and business owners in the area who think that the derelict lot is both an eyesore and a waste of space.
A government spokesperson said it would consider the Adelaide City Council’s proposal once it has been received and a masterplan for the redevelopment is in the pipeline. The spokesperson noted that the State Budget has allocated $1 million this financial year to develop a masterplan for the courts precinct.
“If the Adelaide City Council has a proposal for temporary use of that space, they are welcome to submit it for consideration.”