The Draft New City Plan increases the residential population of 4101 from around 10,000 to around 30,000 people.
Most businesses assume that they will automatically get a share of this increase. But the impact on your business warrants careful thought.
Have a good look at the plan here. (Click on it for a larger version)
Everything north of Vulture Street and west of Montague Rd is going to be high rise development. Most of that will be new. It is difficult to imagine that those developers will not be taking some advantage of the retail opportunities that offers.
That could mean that there is much much more competition for the retail dollar and while the existing residents go and explore the new retail opportunities those new residents rarely if ever head into the old village straddling Boundary Street. it is not likely to be that extreme, but it is equally unlikely that all those residents are going to come shopping in the existing village, so it warrants some careful thought.
Where are the Westfield and Woolies going to go? Among those new developments are probably going to be some significant retail developments. We have a major Aldi store under construction on Montague Rd (have you been down there to have a look recently?) what other retailers are going to nestle in around it? What is going to happen on the 2.6 hectare, that is 26,000 square metre, site on Mollison and Boundary. If that became a major shopping mall, how would that affect your business?
Parking, shoppers and transport hubs. While West End currently has the highest percentage of cyclists inBrisbane and a very large number of people who walk to work, what will the new residents be like? They will have parking in their new apartment blocks, will they drive to the shops. Where will they park. If the new retail outlets in the new buildings have parking, how will that affect your business?
Westender has been following the arguments about the New City Plan with some interest. Read our backlist of articles to catch up. What is surprising, though, is that there is no real discussion of the impact on small, local businesses.
The assumption has been that if developers are making money and more people are coming to live here, that is good for the rest of us. Retailers in the semi deserted strip shopping centres of Alice Springs and Albury (just to include two starting with the letter A) have a different experience to report. Some times new development can make a ghost town out of an existing shopping strip. Existing businesses need to engage with the planning process to ensure that the characteristics that full the streets of West End with shoppers daily do not disappear overnight with the rapid development of the peninsula.