Council’s Modernising Buildings and Activating Spaces grants are helping transform vacant and derelict buildings in Townsville’s CBD, with local business owner Chris Christensen jumping at the opportunity to partner with Council to breathe life into the façade of 16 Stokes Street.
The building has recently been undergoing significant renovations by the Betty Blue & The Lemon Tart and Christo’s Deli owner, as he transforms the long-vacant building into a multi-tenanted space, including delicafé, a function room and office spaces.
Mr Christensen says he applied for the Council grant upon signing the building’s lease in a bid to make the space more attractive to foot traffic.
“We are all aware of several buildings that have the potential to enhance the safety of the city through improved visibility, while also improving their aesthetics with minimal intervention,” he says.
“We had substantial renovations to our façade, but all these buildings have massive potential.”
While the building’s façade has received a much-needed facelift, the partnership with Council hasn’t ended there, with Council’s public art team approaching the business owner to consider adding a mural to the side of the building.
Work on the 17m-long artwork titled Coolumbria – The Beauty of Dreaming has recently been completed by local First Nations artist, Nicky Bidju Pryor.
Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson, Cr Ann-Maree Greaney says Council was proud to support businesses across Townsville’s vibrant city.
“As a Council, we are committed to enhancing our tourism offerings and creating new landmark tourism destinations, including expanding our Street Art Trail,” Cr Greaney says.
“Our Street Art Trail has been studied by Griffith University’s School of Engineering and Built Environment and the Cities Research Institute, bolstering Townsville’s place as a globally-recognised arts city.”
She says Council established its City Activation and Jobs Growth Policy to generate investment and create employment opportunities for Townsville, which includes the Modernising Buildings and Activating Spaces grant.
“Seeing an established business owner like Chris take up the opportunity to expand his offerings here in Townsville is a vote of confidence for our city, backing Council’s vision of growing Townsville into a vibrant city centred around inclusive, connected neighbourhoods,” she says.
Mr Christensen’s new businesses are expected to open this winter.
For more information about Council’s grants and incentives, visit Council’s website.
Main image: Cr Ann-Maree Greaney and Chris Christensen.
Image credits: Supplied.
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