Queensgate to close for renos

QUEENSGATE car park is to close for about five months after new owner Sirona Capital discovered it needs up to $6 million in renovations.

The surface of the car park’s upper level has peeled away from the concrete slab below after almost 50 years in the rain and baking sun, while there’s now so many minor cracks exposing steel supports that every surface needs high-pressure cleaning and a new epoxy coating.

Queensgate’s creaky lifts, which Sirona’s senior development manager Jonny Sheldrick says are a source of constant complaints from the public, are to be decommissioned and a new set installed to comply with modern standards.

Mr Sheldrick says despite the scope of works, it’s still a sturdy building so Sirona’s contractor Probuild won’t get cracking until after Easter because of the high demand for parking during the Fremantle Street Arts Festival.

“It had been intended for the refurbishment to be staged level-by-level, which would have reduced the number of available parking bays and taken up to a year to complete,” Mr Sheldrick said.

• Sirona manager Jonny Sheldrick checks out some of Queensgate’s less salubrious charms.

“While the car park is still safe and fit for purpose, this is simply not possible given the state of the car park’s structure.”

He said it was too risky to have patrons in the car park when the high pressure blasting was likely to create too many airborne particles.

Freo council’s director of city business Glen Dougall says there “may” be a parking shortage during peak periods as a result of the closure, but the council’s 155-bay car park being built on the old Stan Reilly site will help.

“The Point Street car park has this month come back under the city’s control and we have reopened the top level, adding 105 bays,” Mr Dougall said.

“This is in addition to a temporary car park recently opened at this location with around 50 bays.

“In addition to this we’ve updated our online parking maps and will be refreshing our parking directional signage to make it easier for motorists to find a place to park in Freo.”

Queensgate closes April 3.

by STEVE GRANT

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