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BCC to spend $250,000 on Queen Street Mall rethink

Queen Street Mall remains a haven for shoppers. Photo: Robert Rough The $100 million revamp of the Wintergarden typifies the evolving face of the mall. Photo: John Gollings
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They admit it ain’t broke but Brisbane City Council will spend $250,000 this year to fix Queen Street Mall.

The CBD mall, based on patronage, is the tenth most successful in the world and Australia’s busiest.

But finance chairman Julian Simmonds said a “visioning exercise” would be undertaken with a wide range of stakeholders early next year to determine how to maintain its success over the next 20 years.

“It’s not a case of, ‘it’s not broke, so don’t fix it’. It’s in recognition that the last full refresh of the mall done was in 2000, nearly 15 years ago,” he said.

“So this will bring traders, tenants, community groups and police together in a visioning exercise to look at what’s important going forward, what the future needs of the mall are and what we are trying to aim for.”

Cr Simmonds said the exercise would follow the success of a similar plan undertaken in Fortitude Valley, which he said brought $2 billion of investment to the once-grungy inner city suburb.

He said the Valley plan, which included the council-funded Brunswick Street Mall revitalisation, was aimed at bolstering the daytime economy of the area, a problem that did not apply to the Queen Street Mall.

“The (Queen Street) Mall’s operating very well, in the Valley Mall redevelopment, we started with a blank slate but in the case of Queen Street Mall, it’s doing well,” he said.

“But this is making sure we are not just plodding along but have clear in our minds that we are making sure we cater for everyone.

“As the Lord Mayor (Graham Quirk) says, about it remaining a mall for all.”

The visioning exercise will come after Cr Simmonds and Cr Quirk this year announced the relocation of 30-year dining institution Jimmy’s on the Mall, as well as the demolition of the central visitor information centre to open the space to increasing pedestrian traffic.

While the former Jimmy’s on the Mall site has been demolished, the Visitor Information Centre site is expected to be demolished following next week’s G20 World Leader’s Summit.

Cr Simmonds said the visioning exercise was vital to keep the mall at it current level of success.

“It’s been 14 years since the last one was done, if you don’t keep a watchful brief, if you take things for granted we will lose our edge,” he said.

“It’s a different mall than 15 years ago, now its got high end retailers and a high fashion precinct (in Edward Street) that will be included in the exercise as well.

“It has evolved very naturally but its making sure we have a vision.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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