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Brisbane City Council is expected to approve lease extensions for the Indooroopilly and Toowong libraries, with significant rent increases.
The two leases will come before the council for extension approvals at Tuesday's chamber meeting, where councillors were informed the Indooroopilly lease was first signed in 1998, and the Toowong lease in 2001.
The Indooroopilly library is based in the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, at a gross annual rental of $93,779.90, and was slated for a relocation within the shopping centre at the end of the current lease.
When the current lease expired in August 2018, the council remained on-site paying month to month while discussions about the relocation of the library, but the centre owners came back to the council proposing a five-year lease on the same site.
The new lease would be a proposed gross annual rental of $296,837.55, a 216 per cent increase on rent, but the council heard that was still below the average market rentals for a similar property.
A similar lease for the Toowong library premises on Coronation Drive in the Toowong Village, was signed in 2001 and expires in next year, with an option for a 15-year extension which the council approved.
The current lease for the Toowong village sits at a gross rent of $235,877.92 with a new lease commencing at a rent of $247,671.82 annually.
Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner told the chamber the new lease for the Indooroopilly library lease would commence on September 1 and the Toowong library lease would start on February 15 next year.
Cr Schrinner said he recently inspected upgrades in Toowong's library and said it was "well used by the community."
Opposition leader Jared Cassidy questioned the delay in signing the new Indooroopilly lease given it expired in late 2018, but "better late than never".
Cr Cassidy questioned why the Wynnum library cost about a million in rent per year while operating in a building owned by the council's City of Brisbane Investment Corporation, while the two leases were so much cheaper.SOURCE: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/council-to-extend-two-brisbane-library-leases-with-rent-hikes-20200825-p55p5u.html