Moving mountains to make the mall great again

LONG AND WINDING ROAD… From left, Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president, John Anderson, Greater Shepparton City Council Deputy Mayor, Cr Shelley Sutton, Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive officer, Lucy Cerrone and Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry CBD committee person, Wendy Crow discuss the exciting future for Maude Street Mall. Photo: Katelyn Morse.

For over 20 years, there has been a spotlight on the Maude Street Mall and the different ways this area could be changed to help benefit the town and business.

Countless community members, business leaders and councillors have worked tirelessly to develop a case that will help transport the aging mall area into a vibrant space everyone can enjoy.

In May 2018, council released four designs for stakeholder consultation and the community to review. Council endorsed Option 4 with the preliminary estimated total implementation cost of $16 million.

According to the plan, Option 4 will include introducing one-way traffic to enter the Maude Street Mall from Fryers Street and exit on to Stewart Street. Two-way traffic will be allowed to travel in to the Maude Street Mall from High Street, with a roundabout planned for placement a little closer to the centre than where the playground is currently situated.

As part of the redevelopment plan, there will be a water play park and playground in front of the cinema, plus an urban lawn space. There will also be 41 new car parks and shared bike lanes.

Last week during an ordinary council meeting, Greater Shepparton City Council awarded the contract for the detailed design of the Maude Street Mall Precinct Redevelopment to Melbourne’s Group GSA.

The design work will begin around September 2019 and is expected to run to early-mid 2020.

Council will conduct consultation during the design stage on aspects that affect the public and traders, including the potential for implementation staging. Construction of the development is subject to funding, which councillors will start lobbying for once the design has been received.

Greater Shepparton City Council Deputy Mayor, Cr Shelley Sutton said council undertook an extensive and rigorous tender process to select the design consultant.

“Council is extremely pleased that the detailed designed and the development of a business case will now progress,” Cr Sutton said.

“Group GSA was the highest scoring tenderer after detailed assessment against the evaluation criteria, and reinforced its suitability for the project during the presentation and interview process.

“The Group GSA tender includes the use of local subcontractors including engineering and survey components, and the team demonstrated a track record in delivering similar projects for regional and metropolitan areas.”

Shepparton Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive officer, Lucy Cerrone says she has been talking with business owners and community members about the mall ever since she first joined the board, way back in 1994.

“This is a very exciting day for us and something we are very passionate about. The Mall has been a topic of discussion for business for many years and we are keen now to encourage everyone now to move on with the job and get it done.”

According to council, the business case is expected to be released early to mid next year, with construction set to commence shortly afterwards.