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An urgent measure had been agreed earlier this week to try to accelerate development of a library in the half-empty mall, but on Friday its instigator Cr David Benson-Pope acknowledged staff needed more time for issues to be ''teased out''.
Group chief financial officer Grant McKenzie said the most desirable parts of the ground floor of the mall had already been leased.
The landlord wanted to keep the tenants. Staff had only had three days to investigate the issue and it had been insufficient.
Councillors also agreed to consult with the South Dunedin community and to fund the proposal from the sale of an existing asset.
Cr Jinty MacTavish urged councillors not to rush the process and to listen carefully to what the local community wanted in the centre.
The council has included $5.2 million in the long-term plan in the 2018-19 year for a proposed community complex in South Dunedin, including a library.
Some submitters to the plan urged the council to speed up the process.