16 March 2017 | Source: Sunshine Coast Council
A new town square will soon create a green community space for people to gather in the heart of Palmwoods, adjacent to the Memorial Hall, with construction due to start later this month.
It will provide a central meeting point for festivals and community celebrations – with seating, shade and outdoor dining opportunities – and will improve pedestrian links through the town, connecting the three shopping precincts on Margaret, Main and Little Main streets.
Streetscape works will be undertaken on Main Street and Hill Street with these areas connected by an all access timber boardwalk in a grove of mature Piccabeen palms, named The Piccabeen Walk after the tree that Palmwoods takes its name from.
Division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay said the streetscape design would reflect the unique hinterland identity of Palmwoods.
“It’s a really exciting time for Palmwoods. We are starting construction of a town square that will transform an underused area into a vibrant community space,” Cr McKay said.
“This project will enhance existing business and attract new business and visitors to Palmwoods.
“Through several types of consultation over the years, the community has told us that Palmwoods was disjointed and needs a heart, so this is what council aims to create through the town square.”
The town square will include elements of public art commissioned by council following an Expression of Interest process.
“The new town square was opened up as an exciting opportunity for talented and creative artists, designers and craftspeople to design and construct specific furniture and infrastructure elements within the open space, helping to bring out Palmwoods’ unique character,” Cr McKay said.
Smart city infrastructure such as free Wi-Fi, controllable lighting and power for events, projectors and bin sensors will also be installed.
Owner of Renae’s Pantry, Ben Sirl, said the new town square would build on the community gathering space his business provides.
“We have found that that it's so important to create spaces and opportunities for people in a village like Palmwoods to connect with each other,” Mr Sirl said.
“The physical space created by the town square will expand on what we have created here at Renae's Pantry.”
Construction will start with road works on Main Street to move it to the east. Work on the streetscape and other stages will start in May.
The project is expected to be completed in December 2017 (weather permitting).
To allow construction to be undertaken safely, Main Street will be temporarily converted to one way (heading south) between Margaret Street and the IGA.
Additional temporary angle parking will be provided along Main Street to offset any impact on existing parking while works are underway. A disability compliant parking bay will be provided within the precinct after construction.
Construction will be undertaken in stages:
Stage 1 – Early works on Main Street
Stage 2 – Town Square works (North)
Stage 3 – Town Square works (South)
Stage 4 – Little Main Street/Hill Street resurfacing
As part of the community engagement process in 2014, the Place Making Palmwoods Public Domain Master Plan was accepted by 96% of community members who provided feedback. This feedback was used to develop the master plan, which you can find on the project webpage.
Council has worked with a Streetscape Reference Group to finalise the design for the new town square.