FAIRY lights in the trees, comfy couches and restaurant seating in the space where cars were once parked.
This could be the future of Ocean St on weekends, as the precinct will now be permanently car-free on Friday and Saturday nights.
After announcing earlier this month that the trial road closure on Friday and Saturday nights was a success and will continue indefinitely, Sunshine Coast Council is now working out the details.
These include how to arrange temporary permits or other mechanisms for the street's commercial use.
Maroochydore Revitalisation Association, which proposed the trial closure, has this week been tossing about ideas for uses of the the proposal to block the urban cultural hub to vehicles.
Mr Limnatitis, who owns Ocean St venues Solbar, Machu Picchu, Piano Bar and Old Soul, said business owners on the street were "buzzing” at the permanent closure.
The decision to close the road, taking 10 car spaces out of use on the weekend evenings, means businesses can start getting creative with the space, he said.
"We're talking about lighting, outdoor furniture, outdoor dining, street performance during the road closures and the lighting,” he said.
"MRA is working toward installing some lights. We're just getting quotes and everything now, it depends on what it costs.”
WHERE TO PARK
- Big Top Shopping Centre carpark, behind Ocean St, is open until 10pm. Access off Ocean St, Duporth Ave and Horton Pde.
- Sunshine Coast Council carpark, behind Ocean St, off Duporth Ave
- Cornmeal Creek carpark, 450m from Ocean St outside the courthouse
- Cotton Tree Park car spaces on The Esplanade, 450m from Ocean St
He said it also meant permanent signs could be erected, helping clear up any confusion among drivers during the recent weekend road closure trial period.
Customers are "all for it”, Mr Limnatitis said. Police would be too, he predicted, because the removal of traffic through-flow would make the street safer for its patrons, which number up to 6000 every Friday and Saturday night.
He said restaurants considering extending their seating area on Friday and Saturday nights include Zahtar: Taste of Lebanon, Hello Harry, Junk, Elixiba and The Post Office.
MRA president James Birrell said the council's decision was "great news”.
"The nature of Ocean St has changed dramatically over the past four years or five years. It's really become a highly used public open space,” he said.
He said it was still early days - with no clear timeframes yet on when businesses could apply to extend their offerings into council-managed space.
"We need to look at all those uses and work out how we can make a really iconic and beautiful street, at the heart of the Sunshine Coast,” he said.
"Ocean St's become a real gathering space, particularly for the Sunshine Coast locals. I think with the right investment we could really celebrate that space.”
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