Twenty years ago Cleveland Town centre was an exemplar of main street design and landscaping. It was a “must see” for Councils across Australia. The poincianas still make a great show each summer but now the streets of Cleveland lack something and the feeling is amplified by the number of closed shops.
Yet Cleveland Town is a great place to socialise, and wander around, the Facebook page Cleveland Town attests to the life of Cleveland itself. It has a charm and human scale that “feels” good, for most it a better feel than the nearby shopping boxes at Victoria Point or Capalaba. Visitors still marvel at the town centre but locals seem less pleased, dismissive even.
Redlands City Council has an incentives package to facilitate further development of the Cleveland Central Business District (CBD) as well as contribute to jobs and growth across the region. These things take time but there seems little evidence of success on the ground.
The streets need a good pressure clean, maybe we could invite the Landscape Architect who designed the main street to come back and critically appraise his work and the implementation by successive Councils. He may have some ideas that might refresh the streets. Can we fill the empty shop fronts with displays, allow artists-in residents to set up for free, or how about some buskers or even a busking competition.
A real threat to the Cleveland CBD is the Toondah Harbour development scheme. What will another town centre less than 2km from the existing town centre do to the viability of the remaining businesses? The new hub is planned with a significant gross floor area of commercial and retail space, some estimates say it is almost as big as the CBD. What will the new competition do to the existing city centre. Most of us can remember the impact that the shopping centres at Victoria Point had on Cleveland, and that was predictable.
The likely impacts of the Toondah Harbour PDA on the Cleveland CBD are given scant regard in the PDA documentation. The damage could be terminal and assurances to the contrary will mean nothing. Maybe Council has the evidence but scenario of low or no adverse impact seems fanciful. The views of the Cleveland Village Traders Association would seem paramount to the discussions