Fu­ture of CBD in your hands

The Weekend Post - - Views - Nick Dal­ton Deputy ed­i­tor

WHAT has to be done to make the Cen­tral Busi­ness Dis­trict of Cairns a thriv­ing and bustling place?

The num­ber of va­cant shopfronts is a poor look and hardly a wel­com­ing fea­ture for tourists and vis­i­tors.

There are plenty of cafes, tour desks and mas­sage venues but not much in the way of re­tail with many hav­ing grav­i­tated to the other end of the CBD to the Cairns Cen­tral Shop­ping Cen­tre.

It’s not as though the CBD is unattrac­tive and there are high­lights such as the Shields St land­scap­ing, the Grafton St nod to its Chi­na­town past and clas­sic build­ings such as the Boland Cen­tre and DFS Gal­le­ria.

At one stage some of the va­cant shopfronts be­came art stu­dios or were trans­formed into pop-up re­tail out­lets for short pe­ri­ods of time.

CQUniver­sity and James Cook Univer­sity have played their part by es­tab­lish­ing CBD cam­puses which don’t pro­vide fa­cil­i­ties such as cafes or gyms to com­pete with ex­ist­ing busi­nesses.

Land­lords should of­fer rental dis­counts to lure more ten­ants into the CBD.

Busi­ness op­er­a­tors need to con­sider dif­fer­ent of­fer­ings for cus­tomers. How many mas­sage par­lours and tour desks does this city need?

The coun­cil is to re­view its highly un­pop­u­lar week­end paid park­ing pol­icy which may re­vert back to free Satur­day af­ter­noon and all-day Sun­day park­ing in a bid to re­vi­talise the in­ner city at week­ends.

And how about a strik­ing wa­ter fea­ture? What about a mini replica of the Mil­laa Mil­laa falls?

A fo­rum with ac­tual out­comes should be held as soon as pos­si­ble.

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