The Charles Street video store is no more.
And the premises’ windows have had placed in them paperwork for a hospitality industry enterprise.
Normally, I would’ve noted this with interest and awaited further material progress.
But in this case, I have been alerted by CTS pal Tennille and colleague Xavier to the presence of plans for the site on the website of the Maribyrnong council.
See the plans here.
I do not know if all such plans submitted to council are as detailed as these.
For they certainly give a very real idea of just what is proposed.
Included are artist impressions such as the one above, as well as information such as a parking analysis, existing site photos, proposed “colour palette” and floorplans.
Also provided is a montage of “inspirational cafes & images”, including shots of Captains Of Industry, Flip Board Cafe and – quite bizarrely it seems to me – Common Galaxia from just up the road!
At what point does a council go, ok, we’re at cafe saturation now? They don’t, I know. But I wonder if there would be utility in a council saying, OK, these are the things a functional community needs within its borders and until each of those needs are supplied, no more applications for needs which are already met. Does Seddon need a chemist more than it needs another cafe? Does it need a hardware store? Maybe it needs a butcher. I don’t know,…
It all does seem a bit bonkers, eh? I’m not sure the council can do anything about it – or even should. Footscray central has its Viet/African thing; West Footscray has its Indian thing; so it seems Seddon will be cafe central. Given our tastes, we could wish for a bit more diversity.
The application for the new pizza place was almost as detailed; I think part of it is trying to get fairly conservative planners onside with a change of use.
As for whether the council should care whether there are too many cafes, I think probably it’s just a case of letting the market decide; I do hope/wish that some other sort of businesses will continue to turn up, but if not, there are worse outcomes. (If the supermarket(s) get replaced with cafes or more hairdressers, then I might have something else to say.)
I do hope that the council isn’t standing the way of more businesses opening; it seemed like the pizza place had to go to a fair bit of effort just to get approved. If people want hardware stores or chemists (other than the compounding pharmacy) then there might need to be an increase in supply of commercial space; I’m assuming rents are getting pretty high. (Of course, there are empty shops around the corner on Gamon St, so perhaps no-one is interested in opening those shops.)
Replacing an ageing video store (itself hardly a growth industry) with a newly fitted out business that will bring more people into the area can’t be a bad thing can it?
Thanks for a great comment, Simon!