UPDATE 11.50am November 8: Owners of Todd Tavern land, building not consulted by the government nor the lessees about any development.
Plans were apparently delayed or scrapped following the town council's rejection of Anzac Oval as a site for the national Aboriginal art gallery. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
UPDATE 6am November 8: The general manager of the Todd Tavern says its plans are confidential.
UPDATE 5.15pm November 8: The Master Plan for Alice Springs Plaza and Todd Tavern has been shared with the Northern Territory Government and was completed as per the funding grant agreement. The contents of the Master Plan are commercial in confidence and cannot be shared at this time. Department of the Chief Minister.
UPDATE 7.10 pm November 8: Statement by Councillor Eli Melky.
"Your shop can look like this." That's the message this giant photo aims to convey to potential lessees of the vacant shop at the Todd Mall entrance to the Alice Plaza Shopping Centre, according to its property manager, Tony Bowes.
Council has come under new pressure over the grease trap issue with the Alice Plaza and it seems that there may be some progress. CEO Rex Mooney told councillors last night that Minister for Central Australia Matt Conlan raised the matter with Mayor Damien Ryan at the NRL match last Saturday. In consequence Mayor Ryan had requested that councillors be given a briefing. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Is there a solution to the stalemate between the Town Council and Alice Plaza about the Plaza installing a grease trap on council land? KIERAN FINNANE reports on the latest round of questions and answers. Pictured: Patrons enjoying al fresco tables at Piccolo's; the mostly closed doors of Alice Plaza's eastern frontage in the background.
Businesses opening their doors onto the street is a make or break situation for Todd Street North, with the most critical premises being the tenancies on the eastern side of Alice Plaza. If one solution is grease traps, allowing a cafe to open up in the location, is everyone trying hard enough to make that happen? KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Will the Todd Street North side of the Alice Plaza open its doors onto the street following the revitalisation works recently completed there? This was one of the expressed hopes behind the works but it seems that the short answer is no. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
As the decline of the northern end of Todd Mall continues it's instructive to look at newspaper advertising from 1968, namely the feature about Murray Neck's joining Retravision that year, writes historian Alex Nelson, of Alice Springs.
Owners of the Alice Plaza would welcome the re-introduction of traffic to the northern end of Todd Mall. Their representative, Tony Bruno, says they have always believed that the mall was too long and that traffic and some convenient, short-term parking would help bring life back to the northern end.
If that were to happen, would the Plaza consider re-orienting its business towards the street?
"Anything's possible," says Mr Bruno. "If the landscape changes that could be looked at."
UPDATE, posted October 7, 2011, 9.40am : Steve Thorne, of Design Urban Pty Ltd, who headed up the design team behind the proposals for revitalising Todd Mall, is "hugely encouraged" by the responses of Alice Plaza interests. "Unless there is a response from retailers and other businesses adjacent to the mall, it is not worth spending millions on bringing traffic back in." Revitalisation can't be done "half-heartedly", he says. "There's got to be a dramatic change in the environment. The mall has suffered 'death by 1000 cuts', through a lack of transparency, activity, vibrancy. "Without those things then what you get is the anti-social behaviour that people don't want."
While Mr Thorne's role in the CBD project has finished for the time being, he has been engaged by the NT Government to chair its Urban Design Advisory Panel and will be keeping a watching brief on what happens in Alice.
Pictured: Top – Musicworld with its back turned to Todd Mall. At left – Could this lively frontage, inside the shopping centre, face the Mall? KIERAN FINNANE reports.