By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A piazza of cafes could transform the ‘dead zone’ of weeds and back-of-shops greeting commuters outside Springvale railway station, says resident and business owner Nick Sheridan.
The community square would enliven the desolate train tracks reserve on the west side of Springvale Road, running along Queens Avenue to Buckingham Avenue.
It could be an attractive place for people to wait for public transport, or an attractive link to Springvale’s heart in Buckingham Avenue.
It would also complement the Djerring Trail bike path, says Mr Sheridan – who owns nut-butter business 99th Monkey.
“You’re seeing a focus on public spaces more and more.
“If you view Springvale station as an entrance to the suburb, if you look across the road at the moment – you wouldn’t want to walk over there.
“It’s just a dead space. A huge missed opportunity.”
Greater Dandenong councillor Matthew Kirwan moved for the council to work with the State Government on “activating” the area, which is owned by VicTrack.
“The Greater Dandenong Place Making and Revitalisation team have previously advocated for the rear of the buildings along Queen St to be sites for … temporary public art installations –
including as a site to relocate an existing artwork and as a site for a new mural.
“Unfortunately, these advocacy approaches were unsuccessful.”
Springvale-based councillors Sean O’Reilly and Youhorn Chea enthusiastically backed the initiative.
Cr O’Reilly welcomed opening up the “glorious shopping atmosphere” of Springvale into the precinct.
“If re-relected, I will be pursuing the idea further.”
Cr Chea praised the “great vision”, suggesting the land could be donated by VicTrack to the council for redevelopment.
“This is the future of Springvale shopping centre and I hope the councillor in Springvale Central has a vision the same as councillor Matthew Kirwan.”
The council will seek a meeting with Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, and lobby for the support of local state MPs including Clarinda MP Meng Tak, Jobs Minister Martin Pakula and Premier Daniel Andrews.