Matt Burnett.
Matt Burnett.

Plans to brighten up Gladstone's centre

GLADSTONE'S main strip will shake off its ghost town stigma in the next few years as the area transforms.

The Gladstone Entertainment Centre is at the forefront of boosting Goondoon St's vibrancy, with construction expected to finish in October.

"(It) includes multi-level car parking, new modern style apartmentsand a thriving CBD that will see the ultimate transformation of the Gladstone from yesterday to tomorrow," Deputy Mayor Matt Burnett said.

East Shores, once stage one is finished next year, is also expected to draw the community to the CBD area along Flinders Pde.

Cr Burnett said the previous Gladstone City Council adopted a plan for all new development applications.

"(For example) the need to mix commercial and residential/hotel accommodation. So the ground floor is used for commercial space and the higher levels are for hotel/apartments."

Raine & Horne Gladstone commercial real estate agent Darryl Branthwaite said there weren't many unoccupied retail spaces in Gladstone.

"As much as we would like to see Goondoon St as a retail centre, it's pretty much taken over by offices at the moment."

In a council meeting this week, councillors discussed the CBD's nightmare car parking issue but agreed to hold off until the entertainment centre is finished.

"What we will do is have a really good think about the use of shopfronts in Goondoon St when there is the change out of the construction (mode) and LNG don't need their shopfronts anymore," Cr Karen Porter said.

"(We will then) consider the use of the main street after the change, and whether we do a parking strategy."

Mr Branthwaite said commercial rents in Gladstone were not prohibitive.

"If you were at Stockland, the rental there is quite high, but you're actually there where the people are," he said.

"In the CBD it's not as high. The CBD has a certain element of prestige. I certainly think for a speciality shop, without the huge turnover it's ideal."

Mr Branthwaite said he was looking forward to more atmosphere in the town centre.

"It would be nice to see a shift in the way leasing goes, make the town centre a bit more vibrant," he said.

"But as yet we don't have that space available.

"Gladstone has a very bright future. It goes through its peaks and troughs, but I think the retail future, especially in the CBD, is quite bright."