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CBD Strategy Development Continues

Published on Friday, 23 July 2021 at 3:52:10 PM

CBD Strategy Development Continues

The Northam CBD continues its transformation with the planned demolition of the former Child Care Centre in Bernard Park about to commence. This follows recent developments in the area including the streetscape works behind DOME, provision of caravan and RV parking in Bernard Park, development of parklet alfresco dining in the main street, the development of the Village Green, murals and streetscaping in Gordon Place and on the Northam Flour Mill. As well as the development of Bilya Koort Boodja and associated streetscaping, enhancement of the Swan enclosure in Bernard Park, the development of the Bernard Park Water playground and the recently developed park in Wellington Street on the former St John Ambulance Site.

The private sector investment and enthusiasm in and around the CBD has also been encouraging over the last five years, with the recently opened DOME Café, wine bar & accommodation, refurbishment of the Commercial Hotel, refurbishment of the Northam Boulevard and development of the new Northam Village Square shopping centre on the site of the former Northam Hospital to name some of the highlights. The Shire of Northam will continue to encourage businesses to establish in our Shire.  

What’s Next

Streetscape works will commence shortly on the gravel vacant lot on Beavis Place (across from the Northam RSL). This project will link through to the newly developed park on Wellington Street and connect the Village Square shopping precinct with the CBD and River.

We are hopeful that a positive announcement will be made shortly in relation to the redevelopment of the former Coles shopping centre, which will be another asset for our region. The Shire of Northam has been working hard with the property owner of the old Coles building for the last three years to identify a development opportunity and while we have had a number get close, we have confidence that this time around we will see this site developed.


Weekend activation

The Shire, in partnership with the Northam Chamber of Commerce, have been focused on encouraging businesses to open on weekends. We are seeing encouraging signs in this area with Saturday evenings becoming quite vibrant on Fitzgerald Street. We are encouraging retailers to remain open on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, though we also understand that many of the businesses we would like to see open are family operations and people need a break. We will continue to explore opportunities to have shops open on weekends and would welcome your ideas (such as our Pop-Up Shop – which has a lease requirement to open on weekends).


Removal of the old Child Care Centre

This was a difficult decision for Council to make, however it was made with several factors in mind. In particular, the building required significant and costly repairs and ongoing maintenance. The Shire consulted with the community and received five submissions. One of the submissions supported removing the building, two asking to keep the building with no commitment to utilise it and two enquiring about the possibility to utilise the building for a short period of time. Council weighed up the all the information they had before them and made the decision to demolish.


The initial plan is to provide a low-key development on the site comprising additional public open space.


Our Vision for the CBD

The Shire of Northam is committed to strengthening and reinvigorating the Northam CBD, reviving it in a way that stimulates economic activity, attracts public and private investment, and assists in interpreting and celebrating Northam as a place for people and business.


At the heart of this vision is the desire and need to bring a new wave of energy into the Town Centre, in the form of business activity, employment growth and increased visitor patronage – including extending current spend and dwell times, as well as reducing the number of vacant buildings in the CBD. The goal of the Northam CBD Development and Connectivity Strategy is to create opportunities that significantly improve local economy, local amenity, harness opportunities and put community creativity on show.