The summer is looking bright for visitors to Maroubra Beach as McKeon Street will be closed off to cars and opened to the community as a place for people to gather and enjoy. The project, called ‘Heart of the ‘Bra, McKeon Street Plaza’, will be officially opened by Mayor Dylan Parker on Saturday 8 October 2022.
“This is an opportunity to prioritise people and our local businesses. Creating a plaza on McKeon Street will provide more opportunity for visitors and locals to stay in the area and enjoy the beautiful beachside suburb of Maroubra, while also spending time at the local businesses and outdoors,” says Mayor Parker.
New landscaping, outdoor furniture and public art will be added to beautify the space, along with a six-month program of local entertainment and music on Saturdays, which will be running from launch day to the end of the trial project, which is scheduled to conclude at the end of March 2023.
“The community and local businesses were consulted on this project and the responses were very supportive,” says Mayor Parker.
Key findings from the consultation, which was done earlier this year, include 87% of the community agreeing that the area would benefit from a temporary pedestrianised public space. While 86% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that people would visit the area more often or stay longer if it was a well-designed public space.
Feedback also pointed to concerns around the loss of parking, as 14 spots will need to be removed due to the street closure. However, to offset this parking loss, Council is creating angled parking on Fenton Avenue, which will result in 29 new parking spaces created (a net gain of 15).
“Overall, the objective is to strengthen the vibrancy of the area, enable more day and night activity, encourage more walking to and from the area while preserving the area’s unique local character and identity,” says Mayor Parker.
Council received $500,000 in grant funding from the NSW State Government as part of the Streets as Shared Spaces (round 2) program, which was created to encourage communities and businesses to use streets differently. The McKeon Street Plaza is proudly funded the NSW Government in partnership with Randwick City Council.