I was dining with my wife at Café Peasano in North Adelaide. The food and wine excellent, the atmosphere perfect. The view, across O’Connell Street, abysmal – a vacant block surrounded by a tin fence.
“The World’s Biggest Non-Reflecting Curved Glass Window” – that was Le Cornu’s boast on the facade of their North Adelaide furniture store through the 70’s and 80’s.
The store has long since gone, to Keswick, – but 24 years later in its place is nothing but an empty block. Every couple of years a developer has proudly proclaimed a new and exciting development will rise from behind the metal fence, only to wither on the vine after getting caught up in bureaucracy, dithering and council intervention.
Developer Con Makris has had numerous attempts, but despite some grand plans including a 200 million mixed-use complex with apartments, high-end boutique retail shops, cafes, restaurants and office accommodation, nothing has got off the ground.
There’s been a groundswell of public opinion for a government- council takeover to get something happening. Still,nothing.
It’s almost incomprehensible that a vibrant upmarket inner suburb like North Adelaide can have a prime piece of real estate on the main thoroughfare into the city can sit vacant for a quarter of a century.
To quote a leading sporting goods company “Just Do It!”