Revitalising Geraldton’s city centre is a high priority for the City of Greater Geraldton, retailers and property owners and the City is taking a proactive stance towards achieving this outcome.
At a workshop in November last year, Central Business District (CBD) stakeholders identified a range of specific barriers to redevelopment and revitalisation in the CBD.
City of Greater Geraldton CEO, Ken Diehm, said using the information gathered from the workshop, the City is reviewing existing policies, fee structures and administrative requirements and has developed a proposed incentives program to go before Council at its March 25 meeting at the Mullewa District Office.
“We are seeking Council endorsement in principle of the proposed program to allow further consultation with CBD stakeholders and the broader community,” he said.
The proposed Geraldton City Centre Redevelopment and Revitalisation Incentives Program outlines proposed strategies, and proposes a suite of financial concessions and incentives, administration simplification and internal advocacy support to help remove identified barriers to revitalising the CBD.
“Some of the proposed incentives could include waiving rates for a period for developers and property owners who undertake major refurbishments and make the buildings occupiable,” said Mr Diehm.
“Action is well overdue and if developers take up the proposed incentives there could be significant economic improvement to the CBD, which would lead to better amenity and increased opportunities for social activity.
“Alongside this, Council has adopted the Geraldton City Centre Vibrancy Strategy to provide a strategic focus and framework that can harness local strengths and partnerships and alignment of resources. A City Centre Vibrancy Coordinator has been appointed to drive this strategy,” he said.
Pieter Vorster has taken up the position of vibrancy coordinator and brings to the role qualifications in urban and regional planning, local economic development, tourism and business management and has worked on a number of similar projects in South Africa and New Zealand.
Mr Diehm said he looks forward to further community consultation and consultation with CBD stakeholders to progress the vibrancy of Geraldton’s city centre.
“There’s much to be done but I’m confident we can achieve some quick wins,” he said.
The Geraldton City Centre Vibrancy Strategy is available on the City website