The South Melbourne market is the source of inspiration behind a plan to revamp Lyttleton Terrace into a precinct renowned for its local traders.
The space between Queen and Myers streets, and Mitchell and Williamson streets, could be renamed Lyttle Square in a bid the Bendigo Business Council says will attract more visitors to the block.
BBC employee and former owner of Cortille Cafe Jayson Tayeh was among the traders to conceive of the idea.
When Mr Tayeh began at Cortille in 2013, Lyttleton Terrace traders struggling to lure foot traffic from the more popular Bath Lane would encourage customers to stay in the area and shop at neighbouring stores.
While the prospects of Lyttleton Terrace have improved, that collaboration remains and is the basis of the Lyttle Square plan.
Mr Tayeh said creating a precinct culture fostered strong relationships between and sustainable growth of businesses, pointing to the success of those working in Chancery Lane and the View Street arts hub.
But it was South Melbourne’s famous market, with shopping strips branching out from a central trading hub, that has shaped the BBC and traders’ proposal to council and the state government.
“This investment in current traders will create a vibrancy and a buzz that will filter out,” he said, believing corporations like IKEA, Apple or Country Road could be see the precinct’s success as an opportunity to come to town.
Mr Tayeh also suggested the same model could also be applied to other neighborhoods inside the municipality.
Forty-six of the block’s 58 traders have financially committed to the project, with one of the first steps being the beautification of the space, freshening up the space’s gardens and installing more seating.
It is not known how much money is being sought from local and state governments.
The proposal comes after the election of mayor Margaret O’Rourke, who ran for council on a platform of downtown retail re-invigoration, and the closure of retailers Morley’s Emporium and Pumpkin Patch.
This investment in current traders will create a vibrancy and a buzz that will filter out.Jayson Tayeh, Bendigo Business Council