At an extraordinary meeting today, the Council confirmed its support for the relocation of the Albert Street Market to Broadway on a trial basis until June next year.
The market will require approximately two-thirds of Broadway Avenue to be closed to traffic, from the ANZ corner to just past the Regent Theatre.
Draft market layout (image, 300KB)
It is anticipated that the market will start setting up from 3am and close at 11am on Saturdays. The clean-up will be completed in time for the road to reopen by midday.
"The relocation fits in with the Council's strategy of making the city more vibrant, prosperous and attractive," says Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith.
He says the Albert Street Market currently attracts around 3,500 people each Saturday and there is potential to improve foot traffic for stallholders and retailers alike when it moves to Broadway.
"The market space will be carefully designed to encourage a real atmosphere and sense of place. We'll make sure the market stalls integrate with existing Broadway retailers so that business improves for everyone."
He says the market would be open each Saturday for 51 weeks of the year. Mayor Smith says Broadway Avenue retailers and Albert Street stallholders have been consulted and the vast majority are enthusiastic about the move.
"We'll be working with a small number of retailers to allay their concerns. If things are not working for Broadway retailers we will think again."
Mayor Smith says the market could transfer to King Street or Church Street carparks or the Square if the Broadway trial is unsuccessful.
"Regardless, bringing the market into the CBD footprint will benefit everyone.
"The market relocation project will be monitored. Foot traffic and sales will be measured to ensure it is of advantage to all."
Mayor Smith says a Council decision last week to offer a parking concession on Saturday will support the Broadway Market project.
It voted on Friday to approve a trial of free parking until 11am in metered spaces on Saturday morning between 18 February and 30 April.
The first market in Broadway is expected to be held on 20 February.