We should never have to complain that our place is not vibrant. And we don’t have to.
The lack of so-called vibrancy in our towns and high streets is because local governments, I’m afraid to say, don’t manage them well.
A well managed city must have a shopping-centre-style focus to reduce vacancies, attract the right businesses, and have effective deisgn management.
Want a street full of shops?
Want a street full or pornographic bookshops? Tattoo parlours? $2 shops? No.
Want a street full of unique and interesting experiences all paid for by the business operator? Want your essential services back in town so when we’re old we can walk to the shops to buy a stamp, or do the drycleaning, or meet our chums? Or perhaps you would like a street full of empty windows, vandalised shopfronts and fly-posters instead?
Have you got the resources to locate and seduce the best independent businesses for your mainstreet, one by one, like the way it’s always been done: the hard way, the correct way?
The real estate agents do that, right? That’s the landlords problem.
No, it’s not.
It’s your problem.
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Your street is full of vacant shops, your community is on the nose, your kids and old people are being let down.
You’re indirectly telling people to go somewhere else where the prospects are better.
Yes, the landlords and their agents should beaver around and do the right thing. But you have a stake in the outcome as much as them, plus: they pay your taxes in magnificent proportion compared to their cousins in the residential streets behind.
Do you want retail businesses in food, gifts, fashion; a mix of essential services in peculiar combinations you never thought imaginable before?
Then bring the stakeholders together and go out and hunt down the retailers and other business operators you need. This is not about blowing your budget on newspaper advertising or a festival. It’s about business-to-business marketing, with property and precinct details available to those retailers who can contribute to your town’s sense of place, local identity, community resiliency and sustainability.
This is an expert service provided by those with distinct retail property knowledge and experience.