Pearson Street Mall set for $3m makeover

Date posted: 1 August 2019

Charlestown’s Pearson Street Mall will undergo a high-tech transformation under a draft plan on public exhibition.

The design concept includes new landscaping, free public Wi-Fi, a suite of environmental sensors, and provision for food trucks and markets stalls.

Lake Macquarie City Council Manager Assets Management Helen Plummer said Pearson Street Mall would become a test-bed for new technology and innovation.

“The mall acts as a pedestrian gateway to our City’s largest urban and retail hub,” Ms Plummer said.

“This reimagining of the space will capitalise on that significant potential.”

The Charlestown Innovation Precinct (CHiP) project will also include installation of shade structures and seating.

“With the seating, shade and Wi-Fi, we’re really aiming to make it a place where people will want to stop and stay, rather than just pass through,” Ms Plummer said.

The concept design emerged from extensive community consultation undertaken in 2017, which included ‘ChIPfest’, pop-up information sessions and an online engagement portal.

Public art installations, yet to be commissioned, will also form part of the revamped mall.

“We’ll also be replacing trees in the mall with mature specimens more suited to the local environment and less likely to cause damage related to the subterranean spread of roots,” Ms Plummer said.

“The total project budget is $3 million, which covers all civil works and infrastructure involved in the upgrade.”

Sensors will constantly measure air temperature and quality in the area, with the data sent live to an online interface via Lake Macquarie’s Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN).

“This data will help shed light on how the built environment, traffic and other urban factors affect environmental conditions at a very localised level,” Ms Plummer said.

Pedestrian access will be safer and easier at the mall’s southern end with the intersection with Ridley Street raised to prioritise foot traffic.

Ms Plummer said the revamp would complement extensive work underway by GPT, transforming its north piazza into a bustling food and beverage precinct to be known as The Corner.

Council staff will be on-site 11am-1pm on Thursday 15 August to discuss the Pearson Street Mall draft concept design and take feedback.

The design, including an animated fly-through, is also online for comment at shape.lakemac.com.au/CHIP until Friday 30 August.

Pending feedback, construction is expected to begin in the first half of 2020 and be completed in early 2021.

Article by Lake Macquarie City Council

Page last updated: 1 August 2019