More space for outdoor dining, enhanced greenery and higher and wider awnings are part of a proposed concept design for the Esplanade Dining Precinct.
Identified as a “project opportunity” within the Cairns City Centre Master Plan 2019, the concept design for the Cairns Dining Precinct were endorsed by Council today with community engagement to begin immediately.
The Esplanade Dining Precinct project will enhance the best features of the existing Esplanade outdoor dining area.
It aims to create more space for dining and seating, improve views to the parklands and increase pedestrian connections.
The project will deliver a more vibrant outdoor dining experience, contributing to the city’s liveability for locals and creating a major drawcard for visitors.
Mayor Bob Manning said the Esplanade Dining Precinct was a significant project, one that would enhance the city’s streetscape, but also an undertaking that posed significant challenges.
“There is no doubt that outdoor dining is one the great features of Cairns and there are not too many better places than along the Esplanade,” Cr Manning said.
“We need to make the most of this prime location and enhance the experience for those visiting our city through a new contemporary, vibrant and engaging design.
“However, we also recognise that there are inherit challenges in building in a live business environment. That is why we are undertaking comprehensive and in depth planning before proceeding to the next phase of this project.
“The better prepared we at the beginning, the smoother the construction is likely to be.”
Extending along the Esplanade from Aplin Street to Shields Street, and also including the section of Shields Street from the Esplanade to Abbott Street, the Precinct features a modified and gently curving road alignment that allows the dining area to be extended and brings green space of the Esplanade Parklands closer to the outdoor venues.
The retention of one-way traffic along Esplanade allows for safer pedestrian movements and will also reduce unwanted noise.
Wider footpaths feature new consistent pavements and clearly defined areas for pedestrians and diners, the new awnings will provide enhanced weather protection, and vibrant lighting will improve night time experience.
The design of the road and footpath also allows the precinct to be easily transformed into a pedestrian-only space for major public events.
The upgrade will also include a revamp of the Lagoon forecourt area.
During the engagement period, Council will continue to undertake further technical investigations and testing to continue to refine the concept design. Following these steps, a detailed design of the Esplanade Dining Precinct will be prepared for further consideration.