Port Stephens Council will carry out design and construction works of the Donald Street east carpark after the single tender it received was deemed in a report to be outside of the council's budget.
Port councillors voted at Tuesday night's council meeting to adopt a recommendation from financial services to reject the one submission received for the design and construction of a new Donald Street carpark.
"This proposal [tender] exceeds the budgetary constraints for this project and specification. Council's existing budget for the project is $550,000; the single tender received was quoted close to $1 million," the report stated.
"As part of the new PS2020 program, council acknowledges the requirement to demolish the existing multi-storey carpark at the project site, and construct a new at-grade asphaltic carpark that is safe, efficient and convenient to use.
"Council will now undertake the design and construction of this carpark in-house. It is expected to deliver the project in line with the current capital works schedule."
The project is expected to be delivered on time and within budget.
The street-level carpark and toilet block was closed for demolition last October and a temporary carpark was re-opened in time for Christmas. Tenders calling for the construction and design of a new facility closed on December 24.
Tomaree Business Chamber representative Peter Clough said that they would be seeking a beautification of the carpark site, featuring garden beds, lighting and the construction of a footpath.
"We have made a list of request including that gardens be drip-irrigated and the types of planting to provide more immediate 'softening' of the carpark," the chamber's Peter Clough said.
"We would like to see line marking to maximise parking, and the opportunity to introduce gardens without greatly reducing the number of car parking spaces.
"Due to its size, we feel that carpark lighting should be introduced, as well as a footpath from in front of the Kingston Swift building to the Magnus building."
Mr Clough said that the general consensus was for the need for just a single access/egress point at Donald Street and one at Magnus Street.
The Tomaree Residents and Ratepayers Association (TRRA) said it remained supportive of the appropriate development of the Donald Street east parking site to provide increased parking capacity and commercial space.
"We are working with the business chamber and Nelson Bay Now to achieve that longer-term goal. But as that may be some time away, we see the need for expenditure on the visual impact on the current site to make it more attractive for users."