OPINION: After returning to Invercargill after seven years away, I was shocked to see how many empty shops are scattered around the central business district (CBD).
In an area that should be considered prime shopping locations, shop after shop is closing its doors.
Something does need to be done to breathe some life back into this area. I was very saddened to read the article on the front page of The Southland Times, that plans to do so have been postponed due to negative reactions from both inside the council and from ratepayers.
How can these people drive through the CBD and not clearly see if we are not proactive in increasing the foot traffic in this area we will end up with even more empty shops. A sight that will only amplify the feeling of a city that is slowly being abandoned.
To risk doing nothing due to the fears of a few short-sighted people, who cannot clearly see that the city is screaming out for a helping hand, is like allowing a parent to stop their child from going to school due to fears of investing in their future. The future of our city needs to be invested in and no positives will come from delaying it.
The CBD has some beautiful old buildings that with some TLC and imagination would transform our main street. Our city has so much untapped potential but needs our help.
We need to give the bleak area some soul, atmosphere and life.
Abridged - Editor