Hawker hits the too hard basket

johnboy 14 February 2012 10

Andrew Barr has announced that as you can’t agree on what you want at Hawker shops there shan’t be any development at all.

I am announcing that I have placed a three-year moratorium on any ACT Government sponsored development at the Hawker Group Centre.

The moratorium is a commonsense decision, which will give everyone time to reflect on the issues raised during the master plan development process.

Let that be a lesson to you all.

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10 Responses to Hawker hits the too hard basket
Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 10:29 am 15 Feb 12

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the main objection people had more to do with the plan to cannibalize existing parking to make room for units/apartments? similar deal to Jamison?

Because right now, I’d regard the Hawker shops as a model for local shopping centers – unlike the shops at Page and Scullin, Hawker is thriving. I don’t think there’s even one empty shopfront there.

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 10:23 am 15 Feb 12

tommy said :

the retailers onsite must be fairly glum that they’re out of luck for an update for 3+ years. I’m not sure many would want to stay in a 1980’s time capsule.

The local (small) retailers were in the vanguard of the campaign against it, so rather than “glum” i would think they’d be pleased.

shirty_bear shirty_bear 10:00 am 15 Feb 12

PBO said :

Why couldnt they upgrade Page or Scullin shops? They are the ones that need it.

Works are currently underway at Scullin … haven’t bothered to familiarise myself with exactly what is being done … SWMBO & I have formed the view that they probably should just bulldoze the lot – cannot conceive what sort of mods would make the place attractive as a retail destination.

theoutsider theoutsider 9:44 am 15 Feb 12

This thing was consulted to death. Literally.

Has anybody actually read all the reports that were done on this Centre? Shopping surveys, retail surveys, etc.

PBO PBO 9:38 am 15 Feb 12

Why couldnt they upgrade Page or Scullin shops? They are the ones that need it.

Dacquiri Dacquiri 10:25 pm 14 Feb 12

The process on this one was seriously deficient, raising questions about how appropriate it is to give responsibility for these sorts of complex & sensitive issues to an agency whose core business is land sales. The projecct reference group was not representative of the community, nor even of the local traders, and the Government never demonstrated anything other than its determination to deliver on infill policy — no evidence for anything, no consideration of other local housing infill opportunities, no explanation of why expanded retail/commercial is needed there when Belco Mall, Jamison, Kippax and the new Belco Markets development are a stone’s throw away, and no real understanding of why people shop there.
This process was plagued by promises to favoured retailers and, for at least 2 years, by the sort of ‘consultation’ that consists of canvassing views and then ignoring them. Yes, in an election year perhaps those views could no longer be ignored. However… the choice should not be the monstrous master plan or nothing. Why should public funds be used to make a commercial centre more attractive? ACT Govt has, on several occasions, contributed to the upgrading of the public areas of the centre. There are about 20 different property owners for the Hawker buildings. Are they incapable of fixing up the place and of responding to the requests by some existing tenants for larger premises? Why don’t they get together with traders and centre users and work out what can be done without ACT Govt’s involvement?
The Govt is obviously banking on at least one of 4 things happening in the next 3 years: (1) the centre will fall onto hard times, making redevelopment more palatable; (2) the current objectors will be dead; (c) the rest of the community will have forgotten about it; or (4) the post-election Government will plough ahead, using call-in powers if necessary.
It will be disappointing indeed if, after this major effort, the eventual outcome is one that is just as bad, if not worse, than the one that has just been put on ice.

I-filed I-filed 8:32 pm 14 Feb 12

Gee, a bit of reflection regarding the Fitters Workshop would have been welcome. How come the minister is suddenly prepared to apply his noggin?

Must be more to it.

housebound housebound 6:47 pm 14 Feb 12

Hadn’t thought of that. i just assumed they didn’t want the stoush in an election year, and the three-year moratorium would be wound back to one year straight after the election.

tommy tommy 6:31 pm 14 Feb 12

Hawker shops is ancient. I remember going there when I was a kid and it has declined ever since.

Sadly the local community has pretty much sunk the chances of Hawker getting a much needed upgrade – the retailers onsite must be fairly glum that they’re out of luck for an update for 3+ years. I’m not sure many would want to stay in a 1980’s time capsule.

shirty_bear shirty_bear 4:51 pm 14 Feb 12

Can’t agree what we want, huh? Which is surely code for “we don’t think apartment developers will pay silly $$ for this land right now, so we’ll try again in a bit.”

The way this gummint operates, if they reckoned there was cash in it they’d plough ahead (ir)regardless. And Zed won’t be stopping them, since his elevation to the status of “Boned”.

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