Vision for York Street food and entertainment district put to Albany public

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
The piece of land proposed for the market on York Street.
Camera IconThe piece of land proposed for the market on York Street. Credit: Michael Traill/Albany Advertiser

A York Street carpark could be transformed into a vibrant daily marketplace, hosting a rotation of pop-up stalls, food vans and entertainment under a new proposal presented to the City of Albany.

Plans for the Forked on Yorkfood and entertainment district on a privately owned property between Stirling Terrace and Peels Place are open for public comment until August 20.

Beginning with a six-month trial from October, City-approved bricks-and-mortar traders and mobile food and beverage vendors would be invited to lease a spot on the 608sqm site.

The project would offer a space for new and existing businesses to offer quick and healthy meals in the heart of Albany. Forked on York plans to use the site from 11am-2pm from Monday-Saturday and from 6pm-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, with the potential for Sunday trading.

A report on the proposal prepared by locals Tracey Bridges and Michael Keeler states the aim of the project is to boost opportunities for local food and beverage vendors.

“Although a private venue at its core, it is intended that the site act as a public space for community use, actively engaging the community and developing community values, pride and ownership,” it said.

“The overall aim of the project is to run a sustainable and profitable business that will increase the vibrancy of the regional centre, create new employment opportunities, and provide greater food and activity choice and engagement for residents of and visitors to the City of Albany.”

Outside of food operations, other events are proposed for the site, including live music, performing arts, local festivals, and movie screenings.

According to the proposal, a lack of available land and restrictions to public trading within the CBD pose a “critical barrier” to mobile food and beverage vendor operations.

The report said “despite common and misguided perceptions to the contrary”, competition was good for business and the community, encouraging innovation, and reducing complacency.

“The proposed project provides the space and opportunities for dynamic young or existing businesses to improve their visibility and income potential in the heart of the city,” the report said.

The City of Albany stated the proposal would result in a car-parking deficiency of 18 bays.

Public comment can be submitted to the City of Albany until August 20.

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