Last week I was in Brisbane and got to experience firsthand the work the Property Council has been undertaking with members, governments and other CBD stakeholders to coordinate the ‘Fridays in the City’ campaign.
It was terrific to see so many workers engaging with the activations including free coffees and donuts, happy hours, live music, prize giveaways and discounted parking. We have even teamed up with Niantic Labs to give CBD retailers a boost through some additional Pokémon GO attractions.
Yesterday we had confirmation in the NSW and SA state budgets of further CBD attraction initiatives that will assist in encouraging workers back to their offices to enjoy the benefits of face-to-face collaboration.
The NSW Budget confirms funding for a new $50 million “TGIF” voucher scheme. The NSW Government has also committed to closing the Cahill Expressway for a week-long activation over the new year period – a Property Council idea.
The SA Government has also turned its minds to CBD reactivation, providing a $800,000 commitment to help fund worker attraction initiatives.
Unfortunately, the recent lockdown interrupted our FOMO Fridays campaign in Melbourne which was being run in conjunction with the City of Melbourne and the Australian Retailers Association. Our latest office occupancy data has revealed that Melbourne’s CBD remained at 45 per cent of pre-COVID occupancy levels in May – well behind the other capitals.
Over coming months there will need to be a redoubling of efforts to return the Melbourne CBD into the vibrant city centre that it was prior to the pandemic.
The Property Council is determined to continue to make a difference by playing a proactive role in the reactivation of our CBDs.
Lively city centres are not only important for the thousands of businesses who rely on foot traffic, but also for millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in broader economic activity that is generated in our CBDs.