The town centre is turned into a place where locals mingle and visitors are welcomed. Concerts are held for 3000 people. Beautiful spaces take the place of ugly car parks. The Mall no longer turns into a sinister ghost town when the sun sets, and where tourists are warned not to go.
Anti-social behaviour no longer flourishes in this void.
The place is buzzing with people living right there, in 60 or 70 apartments in the heart of The Alice, marketed through pre-sales and built to order, from one to three bedrooms. Pie in the sky? It's closer than you think. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.PHOTO: Flynn Church during a night market and with "video architecture" projection during last year's Alice Desert Festival.
UPDATE Aug 21: Comprehensive comment below by Councillor Steve Brown.
A massive complex welcoming young people of all races, those on the edge of the law and those who are not, in the centre of the town, possibly the defunct Memo Club or on the still vacant Melanka site, is a proposal Councillor Steve Brown will be putting before the town council.
"We need to reduce the us and them thing," he says.
The project would cost $30m to $40m and require funding from the Federal and NT Governments.
When the aldermen and Mayor Damien Ryan now seeking re-election, were standing for council in 2008, law and order and alcohol regulation were at the top of the local agenda and there they've pretty much stayed for the four years since. What's new is the dramatic decline of the Alice Springs town centre. Two weeks ago I suggested it might be a "shuddering readjustment"; now it is starting to feel like a nose-dive, with the voluntary administration of the Memo Club and the closure of the Town & Country Tavern made public knowledge on the one day.
The picture is one of a town centre being abandoned, even while we talk about its rejuvenation or revitalisation. The term may soon have to be resurrection.
KIERAN FINNANE looks at where we were four years ago and where we have got to now.
Pictured: Alice Springs closed for business? The southern end of Todd Mall around 6.15pm last night. Dead as a doornail.