SUNSHINE Coast Council has launched a global search to redevelop the Brisbane Road car park site.
Mayor Mark Jamieson said Mooloolaba's popularity continued to grow and providing car parking for the area was vital to ensure its ongoing attraction to local, state, national and international visitors.
"Mooloolaba already receives seven million visitors annually," Mayor Jamieson said.
"This project is expected to revitalise the popular precinct and help expand the $2.4 billion local tourism industry.
"But it's more than that.
"This is a pivotal site for Mooloolaba and Sunshine Coast as a whole. It is underutilised and redevelopment could provide substantial benefits to the community and our economy.
"Council anticipates the Expression of Interest process will encourage development leaders from across the region, Australia and overseas to submit their very best ideas on what can be delivered on that site, and propose a project which meets our community's vision for the Sunshine Coast.
"If the project includes public facilities, shops and a hotel, in addition to providing a minimum of 500 public car parking spaces, council envisages it will further revitalise the area and greatly benefit our community."
Plans for the redevelopment of the site sparked heated protests back in 2002.
In 2009, the council settled a long-running legal battle over the Mooloolaba car park after 10 years.
Developer Graeme Juniper was paid $750,000 after he was unable to go ahead with a redevelopment of the Brisbane Road car park. The land had been resumed by the council for parking.
In 2004, the council conferred high-rise development rights to Mr Juniper.
In exchange for the rights, the company was to be allowed to construct a carpark, road extension, pedestrian bridge, public plaza and other facilities.
Mr Juniper said at the time that he was keen to ensure a decent building was built rather than just having an ugly carpark as an entrance statement to Mooloolaba.
Mayor Jamieson said in a statement on Friday more than 60% of people who completed council's recent Place Making Master Plan survey said car parking at Mooloolaba needed to improve, with many preferring a multi-storey car park on the 6778sq m Brisbane Road site to make the area a better place to visit.
"Positioning the majority of car parking behind the esplanade on the Brisbane Road car park site will also allow better use of beachfront land, a common theme voiced during the Place Making consultation," he said.
"There's also the opportunity to redevelop The Esplanade and foreshore into an ocean walk and new public recreation space, and provide new street connections and public open space.
"Those ideas are still being investigated and we are looking forward to the outcomes of the place making master plan process and receiving community feedback on the draft master plan before making a final decision.
"Either way, additional parking is vital to encourage people to visit Mooloolaba and patronise those businesses which will, in turn, revitalise the precinct.
"We also acknowledge we need parking for the Mooloolaba business owners and their staff."
The call for expressions of interest will open from Saturday, August 22 until October 16.
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