Townsville's Flinders Mall re-opens

Well it’s finally happened – the Flinders Mall has re-opened and it’s a great sign for the city.

And of course if you have lived in Townsville you will remember a lot of Flinder’s Street prior to the Mall being constructed. I can remember driving down Flinder’s Street as a child (I am know 50) and particularly at Christmas seeing the lights in the shop window’s.  I will not reflect on that know – but here’s a piece from the Townsville Bulletin today  with the link :

Drive-through milestone

The official reopening won’t be for another month but today will be a landmark for shoppers and store owners who had been crying out for a rejuvenated CBD.

The day will be marked with a parade of historic cars.

Flinders St traders, who have been in the main street for the duration of the journey – the heydays when it was a thriving mall and the downturn when it was a virtual ghost town, forcing owners to shut up shop – are the ones rejoicing the most.

Lorna Mead of Bert Brown and Co said her family’s business has been trading in the CBD for 112 years.

“I personally have been involved since the late-1950s,” she said. “I remember as a child my father was here and it was a very busy traffic street. It was the place to be and that continued up until the mall development came in, which made it bigger and better. In the late-70s through to the 90s, it was really the place to be.

“I think many people will be relieved to have access to the shops made easier.”

Townsville Hatters’ Lyn Towers has been set up on Flinders St for more than 20 years.

“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs but everything is very positive at the moment,” she said.

“It was good at the start and then David Jones pulled out of the mall and there was a slump but now the mall is looking lovely.

“I think it will help people to see what shops are here. It’s not the same old shops like in the shopping centres, which people don’t realise.

“I’m sure it’ll bring people back in.”

Lawrie Kemp has been in the city centre since he was a kid working at his family’s business Doug Kemp’s Camera House.

He said the mall redevelopment was the biggest improvement to come to the CBD.

“I think it will have a very positive impact on trading,” he said.

“The street development will generate the Palmer St-type atmosphere and it will become a much livelier place.”

Mayor Les Tyrell said the parade at 10am would mark the awakening of Flinders St.

“The ability to drive cars once again through here and to come in and park and shop will be great,” he said.

“I encourage everyone to come in and see what we’ve got to offer.

“This was the biggest part of the project and there’s an opportunity for people to see what the street has opened up to.”


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