Plans afoot to make Broadway a hit

Broadway Avenue is set to be the hot night spot if reinvention plans come together.

Creative Communities director David Engwicht said it seemed all the ducks are lining up for Broadway's much-needed facelift with a working-bee planned for October at the latest.

Engwicht said Broadway has "the bones of a good night time economy".

The Broadway Co-Created Project is a partnership with Palmerston North City Council, Creative Communities and the people of the city.

A workshop was held yesterday, where Engwicht explained his observations about Broadway and what he thought needed to be improved.

He called the space "cold and hard" and said adding an element of playfulness would make a huge difference.

"We think you need to be reinventing, not resurrecting.

"We need to focus on what the feeling is that we are creating for people."

During the workshop, which was open to the public, members of the community stepped forward to be the "drivers" of the project. They will work with Palmerston North City Council staff to set the plan in place.

The first stage will include large planter pots installed along the street, fairy lights in trees and removable furniture that store owners will "adopt" and be responsible for.

Engwicht said a "demonstration pod" will be installed between The Regent and Downtown during a week in October to showcase Broadway's potential.

He said the plan is to makeover the street one space at a time.

"We want to start small and build from there."

For the upgrade, the council has committed $50,000 which will be available in July. Engwicht said they plan to stretch the funds and be as creative as possible.

A suggestion to change the name from Broadway was made during the workshop. Engwicht said with the potential to transform the space to a night-time hot spot he thought the name was appropriate.

Attempts had been made previously to rejuvenate the former heart of Palmerston North's retail scene, which has been struggling with its image since Farmers relocated to The Plaza when the mall expanded in 2011.

Manawatu Standard