We often hear what is wrong with the mall area, or what needs to happen to move things forward.
What we don’t hear much of is all the success stories and people who are getting on and making things happen…
New Brighton Residents Chair Celeste Donovan says there are many great retailers throughout Coastal, and we will feature as many as we can over the next few months to SUPPORT LOCAL.
If there was a café institution in New Brighton, it would be SWITCH. Whatever else has been happening in in beachside suburb, there has been one place you could always meet a friend or client.
Behind this successful enterprise in recent times is an enterprising woman, Donna Stewart. You are just as likely to see her serving up coffees as attending to the bookwork.
Donna is part of the ‘Carnaby Lane Legends’, made up of the Burger Joint team next door and the Paper Plus owner opposite. Their mission is not to sit and listen to the doomsayers predicting New Brighton will never rise from the ashes, but to be proactive about “right now”.
She says we are constantly looking at ways of creating an interest or event and adding value to our Lane to enable our customer to have a good time. “In July it was a Matariki night market and it while a logistical challenge to organise, the event was a massive success.”
The Carnaby Lane business owners have a successful relationship because we have opened the communication door and we are all like-minded “do-ers”.
“Talk has to start somewhere, and the laneway was a no-brainer. We all wanted to brighten it up and started small…outdoor seating, planter boxes, updating murals and working alongside our customers to make it happen. Maintaining the lane, whether sweeping , weeding and removing rubbish happens by all of us.”
The Carnaby Lane Legends are currently working with a local mosaic group on a large-scale mural project for the lane that will be unveiled soon.
“It doesn’t always take a lot of money to get a project off the ground, but it does take initiative, support and a lot of hard work from wonderful volunteers.”
“Caroline (from Burger Joint) and I talked about the dream of making Carnaby Lane a destination of good vibes, great atmosphere and shopping and I think we are achieving that as a collective , with lots more to come in Summer.”
“As for the New Brighton Mall revival, I think we can all agree upgrades have happened and all positively impacted residents, customers and businesses. The foreshore , playground, hot pools and pedestrian area all get the green tick, but like most we wait patiently for this gradual progress to translate into a retail area unique to Christchurch.
I believe the pieces are falling into place and we are seeing progress with sites like the old school and Oram Ave planning, all big positives for the area.”
Donna Stewart says the key to revitalisation is not about waiting for things to happen, but also lies with the business owners being open to communication, networking and supporting other fellow businesses, and a good relationship with a supportive landlord is essential
What’s your good news story for the Coastal ward? What are some of the success stories you’d like to see featured? comment below!