Council last week agreed to trial a partial closing of Mary Street, allowing traffic to only exit onto Beaufort Street, with the extra space used to create a temporary piazza.
Residents and businesses affected by the change will then be able to have their say on the piazza trial, with council to determine whether it will become a permanent feature along Beaufort Street.
Mayor John Carey said the piazza would add a natural meeting spot on Beaufort Street, with the only other potential ‘heart’ outside the Flying Scotsman, which he said was not as suitable for families and children.
‘This could become a great little hub,’ he said. ‘In terms of a meeting place, that Mary Street area is a great spot.’
The piazza is expected to cost up to $185,000 and will include public open space for children and adults to recreate and relax.
Council also approved the installation of 12 bench seats on the strip as a part of the City’s Beaufort Street Enhancement Project.
Mr Carey said the seats had been chosen for comfort and design and would help draw people to the area.
The laneway, next to the former Jackson’s Restaurant, will also feature chandelier lighting and light boxes will also be installed along that building.
The seating and lighting upgrades are expected to cost about $53,000.
Mr Carey said the Beaufort Street Network’s action plan had driven the enhancements, which have been further guided by the City’s new place maker David Doy.
‘These projects have been driven and owned by the community and we have the expertise in David Doy to consider their effect,’ he said.
‘It has not just been about plucking things out of the air.’