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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

$2.4 million makeover for Kotara unveiled

Kotara is the proud recipient of a $2.4 million makeover.

City of Newcastle recently completed the expansive upgrade of Joslin Street, with a safe and welcoming new public space created at the heart of the renewal.

The project saw the replacement of drainage infrastructure, footpaths and road surfaces, installation of street furniture and street planting, alongside pedestrian safety improvements including a pedestrian refuge to enable a safer crossing between Rae Crescent and the busy local shopping area.

The public open space at the corner of Joslin Street and Rae Crescent features a playful sandstone stack, stepping logs for children to explore and relax, seating areas, a drinking fountain and a dog drinking bowl.

And, it was all unveiled this week by Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, who encouraged the residents to visit the space and the nearby businesses.

“When we spoke to the community about upgrading this busy local centre we heard of the desire for a safer, more vibrant space to gather and shop,” she said.

“With $2.4 million invested to completely overhaul the entire area, we’ve delivered a more modern and safe public space for locals and visitors to Kotara.

“We’re particularly proud of the new, innovative open space, which is a great place to catch up with friends over a coffee or bite to eat from the fantastic businesses.”

Cr Nelmes said the local community had significantly shaped the new public spaces by providing the City with invaluable feedback through detailed consultation.

“Input from the community and local business-owners has been critical in making these improvements to the area, which we hope will benefit Kotara both now and into the future,” she explained.

Joslin Street’s Schnitty City owner Sami Mamalis said the project had improved safety in the area, and that locals were enjoying the new space.

“This is great for Joslin Street,” she stated.

“It’s good to see people using the space and it gives our customers and visitors somewhere to sit and enjoy the area.”

Future plans for the space include a collaboration with nearby Kotara South Public School to gather themes and ideas for the decoration of an interactive artwork to be installed in the public open space – bringing a climbable caterpillar sculpture to life with colour and character created by children.

“We want the community to interact with the new space and key to this is ensuring that youngsters from Kotara South Public School will get to see their ideas and designs for the new interactive public art come to life,” Cr Nelmes said.

The Joslin Street development was provided under the City’s Local Centres program, which is delivering upgrades to suburban centres across the LGA including the recently-started work on Mitchell Street, Stockton, with others due for delivery later this year at Shortland and James Street Plaza, Hamilton.

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