The goldenrod store in Melbourne’s east is in the centre of a fight between the owner of the centre and the council.
The centre’s owner, George Burke, is suing the council for $25,000, claiming the store is not fit to serve the community and the centre is an “abomination” for the city.
A Victorian City Council hearing on Monday heard Burke wants the council to take away the centre’s licences to allow it to be turned into a public gallery, and said he wants to see the centre turned into an art gallery and cultural centre.
“The city is a beautiful place and this is not an acceptable use of public space,” Mr Burke told the hearing.
He also said he wanted to see his centre transformed into a “cultural hub” with an outdoor space and a museum.
‘Brick wall’ in front of the Goldenrod store is now blocked by a “brick wall” in the shop entrance, a Victorian City Councillor says.
Mr Burke’s lawyers are seeking a court order allowing the centre to remain open.
At the hearing, council manager Richard Henshaw said he believed the building was in a state of good repair and said the council was not seeking to close it down.
“[The] council believes that the Goldenrods are an abomination for Melbourne, an abominable place of art, a place of cultural excellence and an abode of evil,” he said.
Cities Minister for Urban Design, Tom Tate, told the ABC the centre was in “fair condition” and “just a little bit of debris” that had been moved.
But Mr Burke said the centre had “not been in a great state” for years and the building needed “major repairs”.
“I am very angry about this,” he told the council’s planning committee.