What is this project all about?

    The local retail precincts projects are all about making our local activity centres and main streets great places for people - places that are walkable, sociable, distinctive and vibrant. 

    The City of Hobart has been working in recent years to rejuvenate local activity centres in collaboration with the people who live, work and spend time there.  Lenah Valley has recently been completed and the first stage of upgrades in New Town commenced in 2019.  Attention then turned to Elizabeth Street retail precinct with planning occurring through a co-design community engagement process in 2019. 

    The project is part of the City of Hobart’s Transforming Hobart capital works plan and Hobart’s Local Retail Precinct Plan, which includes Lenah Valley, New Town, Elizabeth Street (midtown), South Hobart and Battery Point.

    What community consultation has taken place on this project?

    Community engagement activities to date have included:

    Stage 1 Engagement - Issues and Vision

    • a postcard survey mailed to local residents and businesses in the area, (Dec 2018)
    • a community survey focused on 'issues and vision' (Mar 2019)
    • visioning workshops with four stakeholder groups - Community, Young People, Traders and Business and Active Commuters. (Mar 2019)

    A summary of the outcomes of this stage can be found in the Stage 1 Issues and Vision Engagement Report.

    Stage 2 Engagement - Direction and Options

    • a community Project Action Team (PAT) was formed in April 2019. The PAT is a group of 28 community stakeholders of different ages, backgrounds and lives, who are all passionate about midtown. They include people who live, work, own properties or run businesses in the precinct.
    • 5 collaborative co-design workshops were held with the PAT to assist with planning and prioritizing the streetscape upgrade. (Apr/May 2019)

    A summary of the PAT recommendations can be found in the Midtown PAT Recommendations Report.

    Engagement outcomes from Stage 1 and 2 presented to Council

    A report outlining the proposed project direction was presented to the City Infrastructure Committee and full Council in July 2019. PAT members presented their recommendations to the committee in person. You can view the full Council report here.

    The following recommendations were endorsed by Council at the meeting on 8 July 2019:

    1. A draft concept design for the Elizabeth Street Precinct upgrade be developed with consideration of the Project Action Team’s principles, desired outcomes and recommendations, as outlined in Attachment A to item 6.1 of the Open City Infrastructure Committee agenda of 19 June 2019.

    2. The draft concept design for the Elizabeth Street Precinct upgrade be communicated to Elected Members by way of a briefing, prior to further targeted consultation with key stakeholders, landlords and property owners.

    3. A further report be provided to the Council following key stakeholder engagement and prior to broader community consultation on the draft concept design.

    4. A detailed report addressing the potential loss of car-parking within the Elizabeth Street Precinct be referred to the Finance and Governance Committee at the appropriate time.

    Stage 3 Engagement - Draft Concept Designs

    At the Council meeting on 7 December 2020 Council considered a report on the outcomes of the community engagement work, and endorsed the draft concept design for the Elizabeth Street Midtown Retail Precinct project as a framework for future streetscape development in the project area.

    Will there be any loss of on street car parking?

    The draft concept design endorsed by Council in December 2020 does see some loss of on-street parking spaces to accommodate improved walking and cycling amenities, plantings, and wider footpaths. This has been designed with in consultation with the residents, traders, and property owners, who created a vision for Midtown that is more inclusive, active, greener and vibrant. The design decisions have been made in consideration of stakeholder feedback and an analysis of alternative available parking in the surrounding area. 

    The most significant change proposed in the draft concept is in Block 1 (between Melville and Brisbane Streets) where several parking spaces will be removed to accommodate increased pedestrian amenity. This block has a higher concentration of retail and hospitality businesses that will benefit from a more people focused streetscape. This block will also see increased people movement with the opening of new UTAS accommodation and teaching facilities around Melville Street that will see over 800 students living in the block from 2021. The midtown carpark managed by Council under the UTAS building in Block 1 has over 100 car spaces in the carpark with direct level access to the middle of this block, via the 'The Loop' courtyard at 157 Elizabeth Street. Following consultation with traders and other stakeholders, some short-term on-street parking spaces are being retained in Block 1 to accommodate customer pickup and deliveries.

    When will the project be built?

    Over the past year the City has been undertaking community and stakeholder engagement to inform the development of a Central Hobart Precincts Structure Plan (CHPSP).

    The purpose of the plan is to guide future growth to strengthen what’s great about Hobart and build on its position as a vibrant, flourishing, sustainable and globally appealing capital city, without compromising those qualities that already make the city unique.

    It will also look at how we provide open space, and the community, transport and commercial infrastructure required to meet the needs of a growing population. The plan will cover 64 blocks in Central Hobart, including those within the Elizabeth Street Retail Precinct.

    What does this mean for the Elizabeth Street (Midtown) Retail Precinct?

    The Central Hobart Precincts Structure Plan will establish a broader context in which Midtown will sit. We want to make sure that whatever decisions are made about Central Hobart complement and build on the extensive planning and community involvement undertaken in planning Midtown's future.

    In May 2021, we announced that we had secured funding to construct block one of the Midtown Precinct (between Melville to Brisbane Streets).  While the City had planned to commence construction in 2022, through our work around the Central Hobart Precincts Structure Plan, we are undertaking a holistic look at Elizabeth Street's functions, including how to improve connections from the waterfront to North Hobart.

    A Master Plan for Elizabeth Street was flagged in the CHPSP discussion paper and will likely be a key recommendation in the CHPSP proper.  This project will take into account of all the engagement and design concept work done on Midtown to date and we anticipate that the fundamentals of the current design, focusing on improved pedestrian amenity, will largely remain the same.

    Given this work, we are temporarily pausing proceedings in Midtown to complete further investigative work. This pause does not change our commitment to Midtown, and the City will be finalising the design for Block 1 in 2023 to be ready for construction in 2024.

    What is the extent of the project area?

    The planning for the project will encompass the Elizabeth Street corridor from Burnett Street to Liverpool Street.  However the project budget for capital works will allow us to upgrade the area between Melville Street and Warwick Street.  The section between Warwick and Burnett Streets may be considered by the Council for upgrading in future years.

    Who is involved?

    The project will be undertaken by the City of Hobart in collaboration with local stakeholders.  We will be seeking to involve a variety of stakeholders including local midtown traders, property owners and residents, local community organisations and businesses, UTAS staff and students, city workers and shoppers, students from local schools, state government staff and Metro Tasmania.

    Where can I find more information?

    This site will be the main place for information about the project.  You can register your interest in the project HERE and receive updates about the project.

    You can also contact the project manager Philip Holliday for more information, or email coh@hobartcity.com.au