Thursday, June 23
Fox-led consortium buys Melbourne Luna Park
A consortium led by businessman Lindsay Fox has bought St Kilda's Luna Park for more than $7 million.
Mr Fox says he purchased the property primarily for reasons of nostalgia.
"Walking into Luna Park and sort of going and buying one of those waffles that smelt terrific," he said.
"Luna Park is an icon in itself. I think the area adjacent is probably under-developed," he said.
"You may recall that whole precinct used to have the speed boats and the merry-go-rounds all in that whole corner."
The businessman leads a consortium which includes prominent businessmen David Goldberger and David Wieland, as well as communications business, Virtual Communities Limited, whose chairman is former ACTU boss Bill Kelty.
He says the consortium will further discuss its plans for Luna Park in the lead-up to taking possession in September.
However, St Kilda residents are sceptical about the long-term intentions of the syndicate.
Mr Fox says he has no intention of developing the site and the council has banned any such proposal.
But an architect who lives in the vicinity of Luna Park says he is sceptical about the consortium's long-term plans.
"I would feel that they must have some ulterior objective in mind to pay that sort of money for it."
Meanwhile, Port Phillip Mayor Darren Ray has welcomed the purchase.
"The last few years have been a little bit rocky in the fortunes of the park and it seems that Lindsay absolutely wants to enshrine Luna Park as a part of Melbourne's favourite playground," he said.