The $2 million contract to demolish Darwin’s Chan Building has been awarded to a local contractor, and will support more than 50 jobs.
McMahon Services Australia (NT) will undertake the demolition works as part of the $200 million Darwin City Deal.
As part of the deal, Darwin’s Civic and State Square precinct will be overhauled to make it more attractive to the community and for tourists, with large lawns, an art gallery, garden and café space.
Demolishing the Chan Building allows the area to be opened up, reducing heat around the central business district (CBD).
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner says he wants the city’s CBD to be a place that people want to come to, like Fed Square in Melbourne.
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“It’s the beating heart of Darwin and I want it to be something all locals can enjoy and be proud of,” he said.
“Right now it’s a bit of a concrete jungle, and that makes it hard for our traders to attract more customers. This will completely change all that.
“There’ll be lawns and gardens, space for events and festivals, an art gallery and café, and a connection down to the Waterfront. Everything we need to get the place pumping.
Other works aiming to transform Darwin include the construction of a 450-bay carpark, which created 280 construction jobs.
Gunner said the Civic and State Square works will mean more people will come into the city, meaning more customers for business and more jobs for locals.
“We’ve been through tough economic times but now we’re on the road to recovery. It’s investments like this that are turning things around for the Territory,” he said.
Member for Port Darwin, Paul Kirby said the works will be a boost to local business and local jobs.
“This landmark State Square revitalisation initiative will be a key driver in boosting our CBD and making it a much loved destination for visitors, attracting new residents and encouraging broader investment,” Kirby said.
“The Masterplan celebrates our rich history, and aims to tell the stories of the landscapes that transcends into a public space designed to be highly memorable, rejuvenating and ever changing for our community and visitors.”