Publisher wins $90 per month CBD lease deal

VANESSA Mazza has been granted a six month lease for one of the vacant shops beneath the Perth Town Hall for a monthly rent of just $90 per month.

The shop has been vacant since 19 September 1996.

A staff note to council said that since then the shop had only been used for tenancies of a few weeks each.

Because the Town Hall is earmarked for restoration, no long-term leases can be offered. The Town Hall’s renovation will mean the relocation of one of its oldest tenants, Cravens Pharmacy.

Councillor Bert Tudori said pharmacy had recently asked council for a rent reduction which had been refused.

“Now we’re giving away cheap rent next door,” Mr Tudori said.

Councillor Judy McEvoy said Cravens had been given an opportunity to move out.

“I think this business is on a different level to Cravens,” Mrs McEvoy said.

Ms Mazza told council she wanted to use the shop as a studio “to pursue a publication that will inquire after the state and nature of contemporary visual culture in Perth in terms of contemporary theory with an eye to global trends and relations”.

She is expected to receive funding from ArtsWA and Fremantle Arts Centre Press.

At its 25 May meeting council had considered waiving Ms Mazza’s rent for the shop. A staff note to council said it would still have to go through the leasing procedure whether or not they charged rent for the building.

“As the funding grant being sought from an external source by Ms Mazza includes an allowance for the payment of a nominal rental, it is considered appropriate to claim that sum,” the staff note said.

Only Councillors Tudori and Janet Davidson and Lord Mayor Peter Nattrass voted against the move.

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