A new revitalisation strategy could see Wagga’s commercial precinct transformed into a cultural hub with a bustling night life to match.
Under council’s draft activation strategy, Fitzmaurice Street would be positioned as a “distinctive retail, restaurant and cafe precinct,” while Trail and Gurwood Streets would undergo general rejuvenation works.
Fitzmaurice Street cafe owner Adil Khan welcomed the potential upgrades and said they are something the city “definitely needs”.
“There’s a calling for it with out customers always asking about an upgrade here in Fitzmaurice Street,” he said.
“There’s a few shop fronts that aren’t really fitting in with (the look) of Fitzmaurice Street and it would be good to have a bit of a consensus.”
Full width awnings would be constructed under the strategy and various tenancy opportunities around the river levee would be provided to complement the heritage of the area.
Salon owners Leanne Carroll and Chelsea Bartholomew praised the strategy as something that has been a long time coming.
However, Ms Carroll had concerns about parking in the commercial area and whether or not it would affect the night life.
“It would be a good thing (the upgrades) – I know there have been talks for a long time to do something like this to the city,” she said.
“But the only issue would be parking. There aren’t many places to park along Fitzmaurice Street and you can’t have a city keep growing with no where to park.”
Victorian, Edwardian and inter-war period buildings would also have their heritage restored as part of the upgrades.
The time frame for the project, once finalised, would run between one and five years.
Councillor Dan Hayes said the strategy was about activating Wagga and providing more of an incentive for people to stay in the region.
“To see things be able to happen on a Tuesday night or to have a choice of what to do on a Thursday night is what a growing city needs.”
”It would generate more economy for the businesses and attract more people to the area.
“We want people who are leaving year 12 and looking at uni options to choose Wagga because the city is a vibrant place to be.”