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Paving it forward: Ten suburban shopping precincts are about to get a facelift

Brisbane City Council’s Village Precinct Project is investing $10.5 million into ten suburban shopping precincts over the next four years to encourage some local retail therapy.

May 19, 2021, updated May 19, 2021
Kenrose St, Carina after upgrades completed in 2020. (Image: Brisbane City Council)

Kenrose St, Carina after upgrades completed in 2020. (Image: Brisbane City Council)

It has been a tough year for local business after the turbulence of COVID-19, but Brisbane City Council is encouraging local communities to look in their own backyard to shop around in.

The Village Precinct Project is an initiative which will see the revamp of popular suburban shopping precincts with art installations, new furniture, and extra bike racks.

“Our Village Precinct Projects continue to be Brisbane’s largest ever investment into local shopping precincts, with makeovers breathing new life into retail strips and retailers telling us they have boosted business,” said Cr Schrinner.

“A Village Precinct Project transformation delivers new street furniture, lush greenery and art installations, but they are more than just a facelift. They’re about supporting businesses through COVID-19 by increasing foot traffic and luring in new visitors to an area.”

Construction is currently underway in Ashgrove West Village, which has a dedicated $3 million budget for local flora-inspired seating, new bike racks, upgrades to footpaths, water fountains, new trees, and art installations by local artists.

“Projects to improve local hubs in Ashgrove West, Manly Harbour and Paddington Terraces are underway and we look forward to getting started on Coorparoo Junction, Aminya St in Mansfield and Martha Street in Camp Hill shortly,” said Schrinner.

Artist impression of a bus shelter structure to be delivered in Ashgrove West Village. (Image: Brisbane City Council)

The next planned suburb to receive a revamp is Manly Harbour Village, with construction to commence in May on a huge $890,000 project.

This will see a new plaza along the foreshore, creative lighting projection displays, all new flowers and trees planted in the area, and bespoke seating to look out onto the harbour.

“Suburban shopping precincts are the beating hearts of neighbourhoods and offer a different experience to visiting a major shopping centre or online shopping by allowing people to connect with their community and gain a sense of community pride and ownership,” said Schrinner.

The projects are a drive on behalf of the council to turn Brisbane into the country’s most small-business friendly city, and encourage locals to spend in their community.

“With COVID-19 shifting the way we shop and more residents choosing to spend locally, a $10.5 million injection to revitalise a further 10 suburban strips will mean these areas can continue to be draw cards for the community,” said Schrinner.

The projects capitalise on Brisbane’s tentative economic growth following the downturn caused by COVID-19.

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According to Brisbane City Council research, the number of new businesses registered in Brisbane in 2020 was 3 per cent higher than the number registered in 2019.

It may take until March 2022 for employment and economic output levels to return to the levels achieved prior to March, but with the revamp of economic hubs like suburban shopping precincts, the Brisbane City Council aims to bolster this recovery.

The next eight construction projects are headed to Paddington Terraces ($250,000), Coorparoo Junction ($1,000,000), Martha St Camp Hill ($1,000,000), Aminya St, Mansfield ($1,300,000), Lumley St Upper Mount Gravatt ($600,000), Sandgate Rd Boondall ($1,000,000), Rosalie Village ($1,000,000) and Park Rd, Milton ($500,000).

These projects are expected to be launched from mid-2021 and completed over the course of the next four years.

The Village Precinct Project is developed from the success of the previous five projects completed in 2020.

These projects saw the transformations of places such as Station Road and Turton Street in Sunnybank, Kenrose Street in Carina, and The Terraces in Paddington.

The Terraces saw a number of public space improvements such as creative murals on three buildings, The Terraces Night Market – an artisan market held on Dec 4, gobo artwork projections by local artists and an illuminated sign reading ‘Welcome to the Terraces’.

Brisbane City Council is supporting small business with a range of other initiatives such as the Local Retail and Activation Toolkit and Local Business Partnership Initiatives which have been developed to improve the visibility of suburban retail strips and encourage customers to flock to the area by improving the community.

For more information and to access the toolkit, you can phone Council’s 24/7 Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263). Further information on Village Precinct Projects and small business support can be found on Council’s website.

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