It's Superb!

I love this.

A jolly mintox Octopus Sign.

Beautifully conceived and prepared: The preparation of the building in white is just as important as the fine, grey octopus.

Every councillor must understand how signage affects their disctrict, for good and for bad.

And this is a good one.

And, oh - look: a Ford Falcon something-or-other done in burnt tobacco racing green.

Hooked Healthy Seafood, 172 Chapel Street, Windsor, Australia

And here's Chapel Street, Windsor. A bit. From Duke's Coffee Roasters, 169 Chapel Street.

Followed by a shop-a-dog down the road at Surace Fresh, 233 Chapel Street, Prahran

A Beautiful City Goes To Korea

I am pleased to announce that two of our photos have been bought by Korean magazine 'MagazineB' for their May issue.

MagazineB showcases one brand per issue, and this time have chosen Australian manufacturer and retailer 'Aesop'.

This is one of the photos selected and it is, of course, a credit to the store manager of Aesop, 143 Greville Street, Prahran.

I hope Aesop and their Greville Street staff can share this success with us.

They are sending a hard-copy of the magazine to me from Korea so I will show it to you when I get it.

What do you do when you've got to build a gate?

You do this.  That's what you do.

Percy Street, Prahran, Australia - this is the services store for a commercial/residential building and houses essential, boring elements such as electricity transformers, fire services and stuff like that.

Kink it up a bit, I say.

Rude Architecture Shown Some Manners

A point of shopfront design rudely ignored in modern architecture are transom lights.

These are the small stained glass squares as shown in this photo.

Many new shopfronts are not tall enough to have them.

The height to the top of the door of this shop is 2.64m (8'8").  The height of the entire shopfront is 3.59m (12'1")

Photo: Leona Edmiston Vintage Outlet Store, 123 Greville Street, Prahran, Australia

Good Shop, Bad Shop 2

Compare the level of care these two retailers give to their shopfronts.  To their customers.  To their neighbours.  To their communites.

Strengthening our communities means maintaining a warm invitation to people.

Every retailer says they know this but only the best do it.

Top photo: Aesop, 143 Greville Street, Prahan, Australia

Bottom photo: Chemist Warehouse, 121 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, Australia

Have your say on Chapel Street

The City of Stonnington has released their Draft Economic Development Strategy 2012-2016 for public comment.  At a glance it recognises the value of mainstreet business and walkable economies for the health of the community.  If I had it my way, they would spend a lot more money on graffiti removal - the biggest smack in the face when entering Chapel and Greville Streets - self-proclaimed 'leaders' in the Australian high-street landscape.

2012 Mainstreet Australia Awards

I was pleased to attend the 2012 Australian Mainstreet awards last night. Lovers of mainstreets gathered in Melbourne to celebrate small business and local economies.

Some interesting statistics I took from the night are:

  • The state of Victoria (Australia) has about 680 mainstreet centres

  • The 680 centres account for about $29 billion in Victorian retail sales

  • They account for about 45% (5.3 million square metres or about 57 million square feet) of all Victorian retail space

  • They account for about 375,000 jobs - 14% of the Victorian total

  • Interestingly, 183,000 of these jobs are retail, 154,000 are non retail, and the remainder are community-based jobs (37,000)

Some favourite quotes I took from the night are:

  • "It's not councils business to do business, it's to create an enabling environment" Stephen Bentley, President of Mainstreet Australia and Manger of Events at Geelong Central and Waterfront

  • "We often base where we live upon what the local shopping strip and cafe's are like," Clem Newton-Brown, Liberal Member of Parliament.

  • "We re-branded our precinct not to attract new shoppers per se, but to bring retailers together." Spokesperson for the Glenferrie Road Malvern Business Association - winners of the Business Association award.

  • When asked by the master of ceremonies, "How did you get all the businesses in your precinct to get everything so picture perfect?' Steve Maras, accepting the Private Sectors Partnership Award for Rundle Street East in Adelaide said, "It was a twenty-year project dependant on council partnerships."

  • "I didn't believe in awards but I do now!" winner of Centre Manager of the Year, Clair Perry of the Sydney Road Brunswick Association. She gave another gem when asked a question on the podium, "Oh ... I'm not very good at answering questions straight away!"

Clem Newton-Brown described his success in parliamentary elections was based upon opposing extended clearways laws. The extended-clearway times were intended to relieve traffic congestion, and were within a ten kilometre (six miles) radius of the Melbourne CBD. In effect, they were forbidding car-parking on many shopping strips so they could be turned into wider highways for peak hour periods ...

It's important to note that the united business voice of local economies, provided through Mainstreet Australia, encouraged two local governments to lodge a supreme court challenge against the extended clearways laws (but they failed).

However, it was this action which gave the subject increased political attention which probably contributed to the eventual, successful repealing. Clem Newton-Brown's account included that upon being elected he and his team continued to oppose the laws and they were eventually repealed.