Shops and traders in local centres across Boroondara have experienced a lot of hardship with the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions.
Maling Road in particular has several vacant shops now.
The new retail premises under the development of the old Bradshaws site at 87 Maling Rd have remained vacant for over 2 years now.
Rents charged by landlords for retail premises are very high. For example:
- $75K per annum for 105sqm
- $92K per annum for 144sqm
Tims bookshop moved out of Maling Road due to the very high rent in August 2009 - much to the distress of our family who were regulars there. It is possible that the premises may be turned into more residential apartments.
Boroondara Council's current COVID-19 relief measures are not providing local traders and residents with the assistance that is needed.
The rate deferment option on offer will only buy people some time.
If elected to Council I will push for rate relief of 10% in addition the measures already in place for waiving business fees and charges on traders.
I will also of focus on the The Maling Road placemaking project delivering improvements to protect, restore and revitalise Maling Road. I will support provision of bike parking to encourage more people to cycle there - currently on 4% of visitors travel there by bike!
Other opportunities for Council to improve Maling Road include:
- Taking action on prolonged vacancies of retail premises
- Protecting heritage buildings and ensuring they are maintained
- Reducing traffic volumes
- More plants and greenery
- More festivals and special events
- Encouraging a better retail mix
The shopping centres and community facilities in Balwyn Road and Union Road are also very important to the community and deserve equivalent attention from Council.
Authorised by Peter Campbell, 81A Durham Road, Surrey Hills 3127
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