Underground infrastructure problems resulting in the prolonging of road works in Frankston have been detrimental to local businesses, according to a member of the Frankston Precinct Revitalisation Taskforce.
The upgrading of Young Street, which was due to be completed by the end of May, has been given a revised completion time of October, which coincides with the start of work on the adjoining Frankston Railway Station.
Karin Hahn, who also heads the Frankston Business Network, says the delays have caused pain for businesses, but the end result will be worth it.
“The project had been running on schedule until they came across these problems,” Hanh said. “We are working with shop owners to get them as much assistance as possible.”
“The end result will be that their businesses will benefit.”
VicRoads Young Street Project Manager William Hogarth-Scott says the problem is not an easy fix, however traders are being updated on progress regularly.
“The delays have had a significant impact on our timeline,
“We can’t just turn off the power [and fix issues underground], we’ve had frequentation communication and have needed to work with owners to solve this.”
Young Street, which features shops on one side and Frankston Station on the other, has long been criticised for being an unsightly entrance to the Peninsula, with vacated shopfronts often adorning the rundown buildings.
Hahn believes the days of struggling businesses and an ugly welcome to Frankston will be a thing of the past when the redevelopment is fully completed.
“Council is working very hard with owners to give the whole area a lift,
“Once the development is finished I’m very sure we won’t see too many empty shops in that area.”
When asked whether shop owners would be encouraged to primp their property as a result of the redevelopment, Hanh replied “I hope so.”
“A rise in rent is also a certainty to occur after all redevelopment is completed.”
The completion of road works on Young Street will enable the long-planned redevelopment of Frankston Station, says Hogarth-Scott.
“The road works were designed in mind for the station redevelopment,
“We have had to fine tune our plans, and some of our initial plans have been deferred to be completed with the station.”
Hahn says the upcoming works at the station shouldn’t affect businesses as much as the current road works.
“Much of the machinery will be stored on vacant railway land, therefore not directly impacting the street,
“Everyone is trying their best to ensure traders and users of Young Street experience minimum disruption.”
The Young Street road works have seen buses temporarily relocated from outside the station to surrounding streets. Initial plans for the precinct involved new bus bays being constructed on the TAFE side of the Station, away from Young Street, however these have been shelved.
Hahn says the businesses will be eager to welcome back buses to Young Street.
“It was an early point of discussion [to move the buses permanently] however the traders were really keen to keep the buses.”
Hogarth-Scott says the estimated completion date of the road works is October, however there may be ongoing finishing touches until the end of the year.
“The timeline for completion of the road itself is set for the end of October however there may still be little bits and pieces that need some more work,
“It’s a possibility we stop and these bits and pieces take a little longer to complete because we want to give businesses in the area a clear run at Christmas trading.”
Work on Frankston Railway Station is slated to begin in November.