The architect who designed GPT’s West Keira shopping centre has been approached for ideas to enliven Globe Lane.
GPT yesterday confirmed it would channel funds into revamping the group’s multiple Globe Lane buildings in an attempt to transform the stretch into a ‘‘bustling laneway’’.
A GPT spokesman said Sydney-based architect Susanne Pini, who grew up in Wollongong and used her knowledge of the region to help design the West Keira complex, was in the process of finalising design concepts for the laneway and building facades.
The spokesman said it was too early to say how much money would be spent on the project, but confirmed GPT would work with Wollongong City Council to develop a vision for the laneway.
Shoppers can expect to see changes to lighting and shop fronts and installation of landscaping and art work during the coming months as part of the plans.
Wollongong Central centre manager Dean Young said it was hoped Globe Lane would become a distinct destination ‘‘characterised by quirky, alternative urban attractions that celebrate the emerging food and art operators of the region’’.
‘‘Globe Lane provides an exciting opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Wollongong’s emerging scene of independent operators looking to provide new experiences to locals,’’ he said. “It is exciting to be able to transform the lane as part of the broader revitalisation plans for the city and take it back to a true village-style bustling laneway.”
As part of the overhaul, GPT plans to rethink the laneway’s make-up of shops to include short-stay stores, pop-up art, one-off boutiques and casual dining, as well as additional licensed premises to complement the popular Little Prince bar and soon-to-be established outfit His Boy Elroy.
Independent Australian jewellery and giftware specialist Milk Thieves has taken up the first short-term residency in Globe Lane, opening this week opposite Games Workshop.
Business owner Emma-Lee Crane, 27, said she was pleased the laneway was going to get some tender, loving care.
‘‘I love Melbourne because it has such a laneway culture that really suits small businesses, and I really think we could replicate that here in a much smaller scale in Globe Lane,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s never going to be exactly the same, of course - it’s a different climate and a different city, but it’s good that they [GPT and Wollongong council] are going to try.’’