Melbourne City Council in recognition that the City is facing a crises of confidence and a decline in reading will soon be paying selective businesses to set-up shop in the City Centre.
The Age Business report 15 February.
Whilst the City Council looks to advice form overseas consultants to tell them what everyone else has known for the last decade. (See the article by Arnold Zable on Melbourne's Museum development and associated planning issues written in 1996 reprinted below)
The report which will be released in April recommends that Melbourne promote it boutique lane shops and that the City Council pay a bounty in the form of a subsidies to attract the "right type" of business for the City.
We look forward to this report to see if it has identified the true reason why Melbourne retail is in decline.
What the report does not address is that the a serious of bad strategic planning decisions by successive Melbourne City Council and State and Governments are slowly killing off retail trade in the City Centre.
Bourke Street is no longer the center of family entertainment, the museum is no longer in the City center, the city no longer caters for the family day out and adult-sex-shops and peep show venues dominate our main Street.
To add to the City's woes the Council's war on cars is beginning to have a serious effect on retail trade with traders reporting they have had enough with the cost of doing business in the City outstripping the profits with customers giving the City a miss in favour of the suburban shopping complex.
As business begin to vacate the city centre property values will begin to decline.
Eventually Myers will have to do more then just offer up free-space to innovative designers with the City store sales and profoits continue to drop-off. How long will it be before Myers down sizes and goes the way of the other big retail outlets that once dominated our City retail precinct?
The City Council, oblivious to reality, spends more time wining dinning and living the good life then trying to reduce operating costs.