A group of Armadale business owners hold grave concerns that should the crime, anti-social behaviour and the lack of activation within the Jull Street Mall not be dealt with as soon as possible, it will lead to further businesses closing down and dozens of job loses for the local community.
Reconnect Jull Street, a group of business owners within the Jull Street Mall precinct, formed in April this year and have one main aim – to reopen the mall to one-way traffic with short-term parking in order to reconnect the mall and address some of the issues.
The group believes it will create natural surveillance against crime.
The Dale Bar and Bistro general manager Karl Smith said if the mall was not re-opened to vehicles it will experience further deterioration, less customer traffic and the remaining businesses will be forced to close.
“The majority of remaining businesses in the mall are currently considering whether to renew their leases when they are up for negotiation,” he said.
“Without shops, it is no longer a shopping mall.”
The Dale’s Bistro on Jull Street was forced to close down earlier this year after operating as a pub for over a hundred years (with different names) and the business is not alone.
Other businesses including Hair Colour Café, No. 1 Nails and an Indian restaurant have also closed their doors.
Dome Armadale owner Graeme Hill said the City of Armadale has previously worked to address some of the concerns by introducing a three-month security trial, allowing pop-up markets in the mall, arranging music nights and encouraging the local art community to assist in beautifying the mall, but he said these activities are not long-term solutions.
“The Jull Street Mall must be re-opened to one-way slow moving traffic,” he said.
“The business owners want to create a safe and welcoming environment for the community and the local businesses who get up each morning to open their doors and offer goods and services to their patrons.”
Mr Smith said he is pleased that the City of Armadale has been open to working with the group to address some of the issues.
However, they are now looking forward to seeing some action on re-opening the mall.
The mall was closed to traffic in 1992.