PAULA'S BLOG

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Let's get positive about retail in Hamilton

For too long there has been a clear disconnect between the perceptions Hamiltonians have of our CBD and the facts.

As a city we need to celebrate success and become better storytellers. The GDP of our CBD is leading the country at 8.1%, retail spending in the city is up 4.3% and while occupancy continues to be an issue things are improving with over 80 new retail, hospitality and corporate businesses taking up new leases in the CBD in the past year. The shoppers are returning to the central city, and so are the investors.

Our focus needs to be on improving the CBD experience. Initiatives like our award winning Central City Safety Plan and the Ferrybank development are steps in the right direction but we can't neglect the basics. When it comes to parking we need change, and I don't mean the kind you put in a parking meter.

The latest parking technology will soon be rolled out, and I for one can't wait.