The 2010 Darlinghurst and Surry Hills Business Partnership has welcomed the announcement of a raft of new measures to revitalise the lower end of Oxford St.

The City of Sydney Council has endorsed a memorandum under which vacant retail and office spaces in city-owned buildings on Oxford St will be leased out to creative and emerging retail and artistic enterprises, with tenancies to begin within three months.

“For several long years, local business leaders have argued that the city has needed to take such actions in order to bring life back to Oxford St’s daytime economy,” 2010 Darlinghurst and Surry Hills Business Partnership president Lawrence Gibbons said.

“Council has allowed its properties to sit vacant for far too long. At the same time that Oxford St’s nighttime economy has boomed, these empty premises have added to the deterioration of our precinct’s daytime trade.”

The city will also spend $50,000 on planter boxes and hanging baskets along Oxford St and will study the viability of creating live-in artist studio spaces and other creative spaces in additional city-owned properties around the Oxford St precinct over the next three to five years.

Gibbons urged the city to continue to engage with local business owners by establishing a small business advisory group.

“For far too long, small business leaders have been marginalised and many once-passionate business owners have grown cynical as they have seen proposals ignored and valuable real estate assets squandered,” Gibbons said.

“The City should not have to be dragged to the table kicking and screaming. When local businesses work collaboratively with local government the outcome can only be positive for everyone. The 2010 Business Partnership looks forward to working closely with the City of Sydney to ensure that the Golden Mile gets its bling back.”

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