- Thursday 22 May 2008
The Noosa community gathered at a workshop last week to discuss the next phase of the Noosa Junction Commercial and Economic Planning Strategy, with more than 50 representatives from Noosa Junction Traders Association and locals in attendance.
The Strategy is a joint partnership project between the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Noosa Junction Traders and property owners that aims to identify the current profile of the area and carve out a methodology to determine its future vision.
Demographics, likely market forecasts, potential branding, centre attractors and the conditions required for these are among the ‘A list’ of influencing factors, along with the design principles and physical improvements needed to achieve the desired role of the Centre.
“The commitment of the traders, property owners and Council for the precinct is clear through this workshop and other community consultation activities we’re doing, such as the 230 surveys we distributed for the Strategy that had a 74 per cent response rate,” says Division 11 Councillor Russell Green.
The workshop group, facilitated by world-leading retail and main-street expert Gilbert Rochecouste from Village Well, recognised a potential theme for Noosa Junction as the place where locals shop, rather than being tourism focused. This discussion centred around the Junction’s boutique village atmosphere, convenient parking, ease of access, proximity and growing retail mix. Workshop participants also discussed ways to improve brand image and generate greater activity after dark to strengthen evening patronage.
“It bodes well for the future of the Junction that someone of Gilbert’s expertise and experience, having travelled all over the world working with iconic main-streets, has described Noosa Junction as having a strong pulse and really good bones,” said Cr Green.
“This work will show us how to position the Junction alongside other retail centres such as Hastings Street so that it is distinctive in its own way. We clearly have the potential to develop a vibrant and diverse retail and entertainment precinct and the ‘retail health check’ we are performing at the moment will be fed into the Strategy”.
The workshop demonstrates the current consensus among traders and property owners that Noosa Junction is a gateway, with the Strategy helping to build a destination.