MidCoast Council will allocate $267,000 to fit out the café that will be part of its new head office at Biripi Way.
Corporate services director Steve Embry confirmed the figure to councillors at the September 23 council meeting.
Council will now cover the cost of the fit-out after the preferred tenant who was originally engaged to take on the cafe and pay for the fit-out was unable to proceed.
This ensures the café is delivered on time and fitted out in keeping with the quality of the surrounding office foyer appointments.
An Expression of Interest (EOI) for an operator based in a fully fitted out café premises will start in October.
In a report to councillors, the original EOI was advertised in March 2020, seeking a tenant for the café, with the EOI based on the tenant paying for the fit-out of the café.
Following the closing of the EOI, negotiations began with the preferred applicant.
Unfortunately, as negotiations progressed COVID-19 impacted Australia and the consequences of the pandemic began to become more apparent.
Following extensive due diligence and negotiations, the preferred applicant advised council on August 24 they could not proceed due to the fit-out cost of the café.
The cost of council fitting out the café is within the $18.646 million budget for the design and construction of the building and does not impact on the $1.4 million contingency fund that has been set aside.
It was confirmed to councillors that the Biripi Way project was on budget and tracking to program, with risk and quality being continually managed.
The project is also on track for delivery within the agreed milestone dates and for staff to move into the building in early January.
The construction stage is on track to be completed by November 19 with testing and onsite training scheduled to be completed by December 31. Under the schedule, staff will move in on January 4, 2021 and the office will be open to customers on January 7.
CBRE (formerly Montlaur) was appointed to manage the project and AW Edwards is the head contractor.
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