A SYDNEY company should own a large part of central Wodonga land by January 31 after its offer of $3.55 million for CBD West was supported by councillors on Monday night.
Criterion Property Group won favour ahead of Melbourne firm Rescom, following city chief executive Mark Dixon stressing the security provided by the NSW firm.
"Council has developed a legally agreed 'heads of agreement' between ourselves and Criterion Property," Mr Dixon said.
"We believe this provides a degree of legal certainty that a letter of offer from Rescom does not."
Mayor Anna Speedie welcomed both bids and expected Rescom's interest in the city would not diminish despite failing to secure the land.
Mr Dixon told The Border Mail after the meeting that he expected the sale to Criterion to be done by the end of next month following legal requirements.
Councillors Libby Hall and Ron Mildren raised concerns about the project's costs blowing out.
Cr Speedie responded by noting building works such as the WAVES pools, The Cube, High Street and Junction Place had been "managed exceptionally well" by the council.
The mayor also noted in addition to $4 million Victorian funding for the project, the council had been able to use $150,000 in federal cash that had been saved from $10 million outlaid by Canberra for revitalising Wodonga's CBD.
In approving a building permit for the project last night the council waivered a requirement for 13 extra car parks.
The decision was based on car parking near the library already being deemed sufficient, following a survey of its use on Friday April 28 and Saturday April 29.
However, $130,000 set for car parks must now fund public transport projects in the CBD.
They may include bike racks, cyclist shower block and electric vehicle charging points.
The new library and gallery should be complete by June 30, 2021 under the contract with Zauner.
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