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Valley economy grows with Mall upgrade and new tenants

18 June, 2013

Valley economy grows with Mall upgrade & new tenants

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has unveiled plans for a $4 million overhaul of the Brunswick Street Mall as part of his plan to boost the daytime economy of Fortitude Valley.

Cr Quirk said growth in the suburb was booming with 23 large residential and commercial developments worth an estimated $1 billion underway or ready to start construction.

The suburb’s daytime economy received a boost last month with retailer Vodafone and contact centre specialist Stellar Asia Pacific each moving about 150 extra workers into the precinct.

Cr Quirk said employment in the suburb was expected to grow by 12,000 jobs to reach 32,300 jobs by 2031, an increase of 60 per cent.

“I want to generate more business for Brisbane’s economy and improving opportunities for day time businesses in the Valley is an important part of that,” Cr Quirk said.

“I’ve been working closely with local traders for the past two years and my commitment to the upgrade of the Brunswick Street Mall will be a positive for the future of the Valley and its day time businesses.

“This the first of a broader economic strategy we are investing in, led by the local traders, to see Fortitude Valley as the creative industry and entertainment hub of Brisbane.

“The construction activity currently underway and the planning approvals that are in place will help Fortitude Valley achieve its forecast employment and population growth.

“The revitalisation of some buildings currently underway is starting to pay dividends and the commitment of new tenants to the area and the future construction activity is a boost to the area’s daytime economy.”

Cr Quirk said the Brunswick Street Mall would receive a much-needed facelift with the $4 million refurbishment project to turn it into a key creative and entertainment location.

Concept plans include the installation of a large wire roof structure covering the central section of the Mall, which could support lighting and public art and provide shelter and shading.

Small retail and art pods, similar to those found in Queen Street Mall, are also among the concept plans.

Cr Quirk said the design aims to revitalise the popular precinct, thereby giving the daytime economy in the area a much needed boost.

“For the past year local traders and building owners have been discussing what they want to see in the mall and they’ve now come to a resolution and it’s one that I support,” he said.

“We’ll be undertaking some detailed design during the next financial year with construction expected to start in mid-2014.

“Many of the features that make this a popular destination including the central pedestrian walkway, markets and performance area will stay under the new design but the pavers will be removed and replaced with a more attractive smooth concrete surface that is easier to clean.”

Council has already undertaken a $275,000 toilet refurbishment in the area, which began in March and was completed last month.

Detailed design on the mall upgrade will occur during the next year with construction expected to commence in mid-2014 and be completed about a year later.

[Ends] June 10, 2013

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