The Maude St Mall is preparing for a major overhaul.
Set to cost about $19 million, the redevelopment of the popular shopping strip is still in its design stages — but 2020 should see some action.
The Maude St Mall is in the heart of the Shepparton CBD. Situated between High and Fryers Sts, it’s not only a space for shops and eateries but has other purposes.
The mall frequently hosts events and open meetings including street stalls, pop-up shops or even the Spring Car Nationals, «« who line »» with cars lining up within inches of stores.
With the new designs approved, the foot traffic-only space is about to include vehicle traffic.
The idea to first redevelop the Maude St Mall has been in the pipeline for some time, but council officially decided to explore options in March 2017.
In September 2018 Greater Shepparton City Council agreed to a shared streetscape design for the mall.
The public voted on which design they preferred. Of the four options, a new central public space design was the highest ranking.
But council chose the second most popular option, as it was a small margin in voting and ‘option four’ had the most viability.
Council documents say ‘option four’ includes staging, traffic access, car parking, retention of public space and investment attraction.
The design will include introducing one-way traffic and on-street parking, entering from Fryers St heading south and exiting from Stewart St.
A new road will start from High St facing north, split up the middle for two-way traffic and including up to 34 car park spaces.
There will also be an events space, children's play area including a water space, art sculptures and ‘urban lawns'.
In August 2019, nearly 11 months after approving the streetscape design, council endorsed the tender of the $499 000 business case.
Deputy Mayor Shelley Sutton said at the time, it was an important milestone in the mall’s redevelopment.
‘‘Something needs to be done with the mall,’’ Cr Sutton said.
‘‘The tenderer comes from Melbourne, but he has a local connection.
‘‘Now we’ve got this going, something will happen in the mall at long last.
‘‘The traders will be happy and people will be happy. I think it will be very good for Shepparton.’’
Since then council has been doing minor excavation works in the mall to locate critical services.
A recent statement issued by council said there was still plenty of investigating to be completed before construction started.
“Work on the Maude St Mall is continuing with the investigation and location of existing underground services completed,” council said.
“Currently, teams are undertaking the concept review and refinement phase and developing the preliminary business case.
“Works still to come in 2020 include public consultation on the refined concept, business case finalisation, functional design and detailed design.”
Initial costs sit at about $16 million.
However, Greater Shepparton City Council estimates it will cost about $19 million and requires more than half of that to come from the Federal Government.
The Victorian Government will invest $5 million and council contribute $4 million, while the rest will be funded through private investments.
The other end of Maude St
It's not just the mall that's receiving a face lift; just before Christmas the Maude St Bus Interchange and Plaza redevelopment was completed.
The new space is more user-friendly and includes a landscaped park, lighting upgrades, street furniture, new toilets, breastfeeding rooms, baby change facilities and a bike storage locker.
“These works complement the previous works in Vaughan Central, improving the feel and functionality of the whole precinct,” council's infrastructure director Phil Hoare said.
Stage three and four works — which include a streetscape upgrade for Maude St between High and Vaughan Sts, and replacing the roundabout at the Maude and Vaughan Sts intersection with traffic lights — starts next year.
What else is happening in Shepparton this year: