Mall re­vamp thumbs up

City shop­pers, work­ers’ sur­vey

Townsville Bulletin - - News - By RACHELLE CHAP­MAN

THE multi-mil­lion dol­lar Flin­ders St Mall fund­ing an­nounce­ment couldn’t have come at a bet­ter time.

In a read­ers sur­vey con­ducted by the Townsville Bul­letin, 49 per cent of 1100-plus re­spon­dents ei­ther never vis­ited the mall or only vis­ited it rarely.

This was a 10 per cent im­prove­ment on re­sults col­lected in the sur­vey last year, but even Townsville Mayor Tony Mooney agreed more peo­ple needed to visit the city heart.

Still beam­ing fol­low­ing the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment an­nounce­ment it would kick in $20 mil­lion to re­de­velop the mall, Cr Mooney said the CBD needed a re­vamp.

‘‘The fact is the mall has be­come very tired. We want it to be a peo­ple friendly place, we want it to be a vi­brant place with restau­rants, re­cre­ation ar­eas,’’ he said.

‘‘We need to get a lot more peo­ple com­ing down town.’’

The Bul­letin sur­vey re­vealed the re­spon­dents who do visit the mall shopped there and/or visit Cot­ters Mar­kets.

But 61 per cent were not happy with the qual­ity of shops in the CBD and 76 per cent feel there were not enough park­ing spots.

Cr Mooney said the com­mu­nity had made it clear they wanted a high end de­part­ment store like a Myer or David Jones, as well as ad­di­tional high end re­tail­ers in Townsville.

‘‘I won’t rule out fur­ther in­cen­tives to at­tract a Myer or a DJs or some other ma­jor de­part­ment store to come to our down­town,’’ he said.

CBD park­ing was a per­sis­tent gripe among sur­vey re­spon­dents. Of the 13 per cent who work in the CBD, 33 per cent use a com­pany car park, 31 per cent use street park­ing and only 9.5 per cent use the Dean Street car park.

More than 70 per cent of the CBD work­ers felt there was in­suf­fi­cient all-day park­ing with only 19 per cent car­ry­ing out most of their shop­ping in the CBD.

But coun­cil is yet to come up with a car park­ing so­lu­tion.

‘‘We hear the feed­back, some things can be re­solved quickly, some things can’t,’’ Cr Mooney said.

‘‘I just want to make the com­mu­nity aware of the fact that CBD park­ing is an on­go­ing is­sue.

‘‘We have no ma­jor new in­ner-city park­ing ini­tia­tives . . . but we are aware of those is­sues and we are mon­i­tor­ing them.’’

But don’t ex­pect an im­proved Flin­ders St Mall any­time soon, with the re­de­vel­op­ment off the ta­ble un­til 2008-09.

‘‘We can’t af­ford to do it be­fore then,’’ Cr Mooney said.

Coun­cil would work in conj u n c t i o n with Lau­rence L a n c i n i ’ s m a j o r m a l l de­vel­op­ment.

Cr Mooney said he hoped to put the mall de­vel­op­ment pro­posal to coun­cil early next year.

Most re­spon­dents (57 per cent) think the mall should not be opened to traf­fic, up from 53 per cent last year.

Of those who did, 61 per cent thought coun­cil should work on it as a pri­or­ity.

But coun­cil is yet to re­veal its po­si­tion on cre­at­ing a traf­fic thor­ough­fare through Flin­ders St Mall.

‘‘That’s some­thing that I have to say in my pre­lim­i­nary dis­cus­sions and what I’ve read from other com­ments is still a bit of a di­vided opin­ion, even from the de­vel­op­ment com­mu­nity,’’ Cr Mooney said.

‘‘But cer­tainly the com­mu­nity has made it clear to me that if they can see a ma­jor re­de­vel­op­ment (in­clud­ing) high­end re­tail­ing, cine­mas and ad­di­tional car park­ing, they’re pre­pared to look at that trade-off.’’

Mall users Amy Milligan and Re­becca Keats wel­comed the mall fund­ing an­nounce­ment.

Ms Milligan said she worked in the CBD so she vis­ited the mall most work­ing days.

She said an im­prove­ment in the cal­i­bre of shop­ping op­tions had seen her be­come a Flin­ders Mall shop­per re­cently.

‘‘I hope the re­vamp will make the mall look bet­ter and more fam­ily friendly,’’ she said.

Ms Milligan said she caught a bus into the CBD be­cause car park­ing around the city was too ex­pen­sive.

Photo:MEGANBRAYLEYXUU53483

KEEN . . . mall users Re­becca Keats and Amy Milligan

Cr Mooney

Lau­rence Lancini

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.