Wednesday, 27 May, 2020

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NBL boss turns to Mona architects to help deliver vision for Southbank-style precinct

The Derwent Entertainment Centre at Wilkinsons Point.

NBL owner Larry Kestelman has engaged the architect who brought Mona to life to help create his potential Wilkinsons Point precinct masterpiece.

Mr Kestelman, who is in exclusive negotiations with the Glenorchy City Council to purchase Wilkinsons Point and the Derwent Entertainment Centre, is back in Tasmania as the fixture for next month’s pre-season Blitz is released.

Striking a deal with the GCC for the DEC and surrounding land — and obtaining Government support to refurbish the building — will almost certainly pave the way for the state to obtain the NBL’s 10th licence.

Mr Kestelman has already revealed his vision of turning Wilkinsons Point into a Melbourne or Brisbane Southbank-style heartland and Nonda Katsalidis, who collaborated with David Walsh to create Mona, will be involved in the huge project.

Nonda Katsalidis, left, and Karl Fender of Fender Katsalidis Architects.

“What we need to understand is what can we build as a precinct around the DEC so one question is the DEC itself, but also what else can be done as a precinct that makes it commercially viable and makes sure that it’s a vibrant, alive product,” Mr Kestelman said.

“So that’s what we’re doing now, we’ve engaged architects, the same architects that have done Mona, and they are currently doing an assessment of Wilkinsons Point and what that should that look like.

“That’ll be the process that we’re going to go through with council to … make sure that we’re all on the same page and they’re comfortable with what we have envisioned for it and the community is supportive of the vision.”

NBL owner Larry Kestelman Picture: Zak Simmonds

Mr Kestelman has also met with numerous corporate heavy hitters in the past few weeks to establish what role local business could have in Tasmania’s potential NBL team.

He said talks with all parties are progressing well.

“We are doing work with the business community, meeting business leaders to understand what do they want out of a team and can that can be sustainable, because without corporate support it won’t happen.

“I think they are definitely keen, they’re just waiting now to see what the proposals will look like and what can we deliver for them.”