ACT News

Gang Gang – Canberra Centre to delay spruce up

Let's be grateful the Canberra Centre is waiting until early next year to begin a $1.6 million spruce up along Bunda Street and Petrie Plaza in the city, because the whole precinct already looks like a tangle of shoppers, builders, temporary fencing and service trucks.

The shopping mall's owner, Queensland Investment Corporation, wants to demolish and reconstruct awnings along Petrie Plaza and Bunda Street, and alter the street-level shop fronts and facades.

An artist's impression of Canberra Mall's new awning in Petrie Plaza.
An artist's impression of Canberra Mall's new awning in Petrie Plaza.  Photo: Supplied

Shoppers walking along the two streets have had little other than blank walls. So much so QIC has often been accused of sucking people into a big box and not letting them out to enjoy the surrounding city centre.

QIC has spent more than $1 billion in recent times on their Canberra mall, and their latest plans promise an improved amenity along Bunda Street and Petrie Plaza. They are also planning to change substantially the retail offer inside, and refurbish.

The central location should be Canberra's premier shopping strip. Big plane trees soften the footpaths, and the interiors are inviting enough, but the whole place has never seemed to reach its potential.

We can only hope QIC stops dragging its feet on developing the car park facing Cooyong Street, where it has flagged hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of new development, but instead has extended the lease conditions, while rearranging other sections of its retail jewel.