FRANKSTON’S northern gateway – the Nepean Highway – urgently needs to be revamped to lead revitalisation of the CBD.
So says one of the municipality’s most active advocacy groups, the Committee for Greater Frankston, which is also calling on candidates at the November council election to support the push to improve the city’s commercial heart, starting with Nepean Highway to “create a main street of which are our city can be proud”.
Committee for Greater Frankston chief executive Ginevra Hosking said the city’s northern gateway was “the first window into Frankston seen by cyclists and motorists”. “It’s the gateway for people coming down from Melbourne; it’s a missing link in Melbourne’s Bay Trail. How Nepean Highway looks defines us.” Ms Hosking said the highway precinct had been in decline for many years. It was now strongly impacting on how people saw the city’s commercial centre and was scaring off investors.
The committee along with Frankston City Council, VicRoads, Frankston Revitalisation Board and other leading organisations in the city is assembling a compelling case for concerted action to improve the gateway. This could include removing dilapidated buildings, some of which have been empty for many years and were now targets for squatters, graffitists and antisocial behaviour.
Ms Hosking said many members of the community had been disappointed that Frankston Council and VicRoads could not arrive at an agreement on the original 2014 proposal to improve Nepean Highway’s streetscape (which came with $1 million of state funding for proposed roadworks).
“We as a community have the chance to fast-track this project. We’re calling on election candidates to declare their support for gateway renewal in the lead-up to the late November election. Then we want those elected to get behind the initiative and push hard.”
Ms Hosking said businesses along the highway had suffered from lack of parking for staff and customers, derelict buildings nearby, narrow footpaths, and a lack of passing trade due to the “unwelcoming” nature of the precinct.
“The vibe is wrong. It’s a bad look when you drive into Frankston and see boarded-up and empty premises. Our foreshore is great but the highway precinct isn’t a place where you would linger for a coffee.”
She said renewal would enable residents and visitors to “reclaim the precinct”. “Imagine a summer’s day with the family at the nearby beach and then strolling up to get an ice cream or a snack, and later the going for an early dinner.”
Ms Hosking said there was now strong support for the vision of Frankston’s CBD as an “education town” – a vibrant hub of commerce not only for residents and visitors but also students now coming into Frankston’s centre in increasing numbers. She said Monash University’s Peninsula campus had 4500 students and 420 staff. Frankston Hospital had 6000 daily visitations, 1900 students were studying at Frankston High School, and the TAFE had 8000 students.
“Our fast-growing health, business and education precinct is reinvigorating the CBD and it’s time to show this proudly to the rest of Melbourne.”
This article generated plenty of media interest and community input.
Recent Media Coverage:
Frankston Community Notice Board, Facebook online response story & web story. 14 August 2020
FRANKSTON’S GATEWAY LEFT TO CRUMBLE
Frankston Leader Herald Sun, Facebook, Brittany Goldsmith 18 August 2020
The Committee for Greater Frankston is calling for an overhaul of Frankston’s Nepean Hwy gateway, claiming dilapidated buildings and unkept grounds are “scaring off” visitors and investors. Chief executive Ginevra Hosking said the highway precinct had been in decline for “many years”. The northern end of the road features a number of run down buildings including the infamous Ambassador Hotel. Ms Hosking said businesses along the thoroughfare had suffered a lack of passing trade due to the “unwelcoming” nature of the area. “(We need to) create a main street of which are our city can be proud,” she said. “(The northern gateway) is the first window into Frankston seen by cyclists and motorists and people coming down from Melbourne.
“(Some buildings) have been empty for many years and are now targets for squatters, graffitists and antisocial behaviour. “How Nepean Hwy looks defines us.”
The committee along with Frankston City Council, VicRoads, Frankston Revitalisation Board and other leading organisations in the city are assembling a case for concerted action to improve the gateway. Ms Hosking called on local candidates in the upcoming council election to get behind the cause.
“The vibe is wrong. It’s a bad look when you drive into Frankston and see boarded-up and empty premises,” Ms Hosking said. “Our foreshore is great but the highway precinct isn’t a place where you would linger for a coffee. “We as a community have the chance to fast-track this project…we’re calling on election candidates to declare their support for gateway renewal in the lead up to the election.”
Herald sun Frankston homeless squat in empty buildings to escape ‘jail cell’ share houses, Brittany Goldsmith and Suzan Delibasic, 24 August 2020
Disgusting conditions inside some of Frankston’s share houses are forcing desperate people out onto the street, a homeless man says. It comes as people would rather brave the freezing conditions to avoid sleeping in “jail cells”.
The Committee for Greater Frankston is concerned the region’s reputation is being plagued by derelict buildings which are attracting squatters, and is pushing for certain areas (e.g Nepean Hwy gateway) to be beautified in a future project.
“Council is working with the Victorian Government’s Frankston Revitalisation Board to identify opportunities to refresh and activate the city centre. The Board, which comprises key agencies located within the city centre and health and education precinct, is actively involving relevant government departments and local stakeholders to identify key projects.
Chief executive Ginevra Hosking told the Leader dilapidated buildings and unkept grounds were “scaring off” visitors and investors. “(We need to) create a main street of which are our city can be proud of and all Frankston residents need accommodation they can feel safe and secure in,” she saidM