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Council bosses seek a developer to provide world-class city waterfront
THE hunt for a developer to transform South-ampton’s Royal Pier area into a world-class waterfront will be launched today.
It has been described as the most prestigious waterfront opportunity in the country and could feature offices, at least two hotels, restaurants, marine related shops, luxury flats, an 8,000-seater indoor arena and a Las Vegas-style casino, particularly to entertain the growing number of cruise visitors.
The derelict Royal Pier behind Kuti’s Royal Thai Pier restaurant would be demolished and in its place a new promenade would stretch from Mayflower Park, across land raised from the seabed, to Town Quay.
The council’s Cabinet member for economic development Councillor Royston Smith said the priority was to get people closer to the waterfront and to transform the Royal Pier district into a “destination location to be proud of”, while securing the long-term future of the Southampton Boat Show.
Cllr Smith said: “This has to be a big draw. It’s not going to be block of flats on the waterfront.
“We want world-class architects and world-class developers. There will be no question of dumbing down with this. It will last for a generation to come and it has to be right.”
Colin Banyard, chairman of Kilbride, said his firm would be at the front of the queue to become the preferred developer.
He insisted the waterfront had all the elements to be transformed in the same way as Boston, Vancouver and Darling Harbour in Sydney.
While few new ideas have come forward, Cllr Smith said he thought Kilbride had done a good job assessing the development over the past 18 months.
He said problems had been identified and the groundwork laid for more detailed proposals.
A plot stretching from Royal Pier to the De Vere roundabout and Holiday Inn hotel, and encompassing Mayflower Park and part of Southampton Water has been earmarked for development.
The project will require the relocation of the Red Funnel terminal, likely to Town Quay marina or berth 101, and the costly reclamation of the seabed to extend the site.
Southampton City Council will now jointly market the site with ABP, which owns Royal Pier, and fellow landowner Crown Estates.
The council will tender for developers this summer.
However, it is not expected a brick will be laid for two or three years.
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