Earlier this month I announced the start of works on a fast-tracked $4 million dollar Brunswick Street Mall refurbishment.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk

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It’s no secret that while the Mall has a bustling night-time economy, daytime foot traffic is limited. I want to change that. The Brunswick Street Mall is tired and in dire need of a facelift,so we are going to deliver a vibrant new-look streetscape by mid this year. Fortitude Valley is the largest office market in Brisbane, outside of the CBD.

Over a 24-hour period, it’s populated by up to 61,000 workers, visitors and residents. Added to this, employmentin the Valley is expected to grow by 12,000 jobsto reach 32,300 jobs by 2031 – an increase of 60per cent. This growth in employment will provide an increase in the need for an improved daytimeeconomy.

In addition, development in the Valley is booming. There’s an estimated $1 billion in residential and commercial developments underway or ready to start construction, adding to the support for this Mall upgrade. It’s important that we fast-track these improvements, to minimise construction impacts for Mall business owners. It will also mean the
space is looking its best for the upcoming G20 Summit in November.

For more than a year, local traders and building owners discussed what they wanted to see as part of the upgrade. We believe we’ve come up with a practical and attractive concept,in line with what the local community wants.

The Brunswick Street Mall refurbishment works will involve replacing the old pavers with a patterned concrete. This will remove trip hazards and make the surface easier to clean. Improved lighting throughout the area and building some small retail and art pods are other new features. There will be a large wire roof catenary structure installed, which will support lighting and public art, as well as provide shelter and shade, similar to designs in Sydney and Switzerland.

But we’re not changing everything; we know the Mall has a unique character and we will stay true to that. Current design features that are popular with residents will not change, including the central pedestrian walkway, performance area and artwork integrated into the pavements.

I have been working closely with local traders to make this upgrade as painless as possible, which is why we’re undertaking construction during their quietest trading period and keeping access to their businesses as clear as possible. Please remember that throughout these works the traders will be open for business and there will be footways on either side and cross paths to ensure you can still access the Mall safely.

I’d like to thank the businesses and patrons of the Brunswick Street Mall for your patience. It is, as the saying goes, short-term pain for longterm gain and I’m excited to deliver the finished product later this year. One of my highest priorities this term is the economic development of this city. Seeing Fortitude Valley reach its potential as the creative industry and entertainment hub of Brisbane is an integral part of this.