THE central business district could be given a new lease on life as a proposal looks to fill empty shopfronts by Christmas.
Wagga councillors will decide at tomorrow's meeting whether to trial a new idea that hopes to fill four vacant shops on Baylis, Fitzmaurice and intersecting streets with a number of creative industries, retail businesses or gallery spaces.
The empty shops in the CBD has reduced activity, as well as commercial and retail interest, according to the council's economic development team.
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At an initial cost of $4000, the council's report suggests a trial of the Renew Australia model could reinvigorate the shopping district, given its success in other regional cities such as Newcastle.
"Within the first year, the initial area of the city targeted by Renew Newcastle - the Hunter Street mall - was transformed from an empty area in the city to a busy centre of creativity and activity," the report states.
"By the end of that first year, many new commercial tenants were opening, and activity and interest was returning to the mall at a level not seen in decades."
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Financial adviser Michael Tadros said the proposal could "absolutely" attract more people to CBD.
However he said it was only a temporary solution and luring new businesses to the area starts with the landlords.
"We need to take a step back. The landlords need to be more reasonable and flexible with leasing such as allowing for internal renovations and the by-product will be attracting new businesses to the area," he said.
The proposal has been spearheaded by Eastern Riverina Arts, which has already sourced interest from a property owner with two shopfronts on Forsyth Street.
The council report suggests the first space will be up-and-running before Christmas given the proven framework and resources of Renew Australia.