The Cat and Fiddle Arcade in Hobart Tasmania is an icon of the Hobart CBD. I remember going to watch the cat and fiddle “display” as a child and really liking it.

Well an upgrade of the area is now planned and again heralds more improvement for the Hobart CBD.

It seems that a large amount of development is planned for the Hobart CBD so hopefully it all goes ahead.

Facelift for CBD landmark – Cat and Fiddle Arcade Hobart

A LONG-AWAITED upgrade of Cat and Fiddle Arcade is before Hobart City Council for planning approval.

On Monday the council’s development and environmental services committee unanimously approved new owner Silverleaf Investments’ application for the $3 million redevelopment of the arcade and some adjacent buildings.

The West Australian firm, which is now the biggest property owner in Hobart’s main CBD block, bought the property at the end of last year for $25 million.

Silverleaf’s proposal is for partial demolition, alteration and extension to shops, takeaway food shops, restaurants and consulting rooms, and new awnings and signs, with the internal layout of the arcade and tenancies to be altered.

The Target store would be extended at first-floor level into the adjacent building to its east, facing Elizabeth Mall, and the escalator in Priceline facing Elizabeth Mall would be repositioned to allow a new upper level arcade access directly to the mall.

Deputy Lord Mayor Helen Burnet, who chaired the committee meeting, said the committee’s recommendation would go before a full meeting of council next Monday.

Ald Burnet said the conditions being recommended to the council included that the Liverpool Link walkway remain open.

She said the proposal was a clear sign that Silverleaf wanted to invest in and upgrade what was formerly owned by the Centro group.

“It should send a message of confidence to the Hobart business community,” she said.

Centro and the Retirement Benefits Fund, former owners of the Myer Liverpool St store burnt down in 2007, were planning a $200 million upgrade of the store and Cat and Fiddle Arcade before Centro became engulfed in the global debt crisis.

In July, Myer announced details of a new $100 million store, including 40 speciality stores, a hotel, a food court and a rooftop bar.

Properties owned by Silverleaf include the Target store and Harris Scarfe building.

What do you think of the news? Does the Cat and Fiddle Arcade bring back childhood memories? If you are just planning your move to Tasmania then maybe you haven’t seen the Cat and Fiddle Arcade yet and don’t understand the significance!

We would love to hear your thoughts.


Photo credit: Hobart Waterfront | Tourism Tasmania | Geoff Murray