Business in the City of Frankston
We have 3 principal areas of business activity.
1. The Central Activity Area (CAA) and surrounds extending up to Overport Road. This is in the Frankston Electorate.
2. Kananook and the area around the Hartnett Drive area in Seaford
3. Carrum Downs industrial precinct.
The latter two are in the Carrum Electorate.
We also have several educational hubs with Monash and Chisholm and a medical precinct around the Frankston Hospital. Our largest employers are these organisations.
The overwhelming majority of employers in Frankston are small business operators -. Less than 10% of them have more than 20 employees and about half employ less than five workers.
Niche Manufacturing is growing in Seaford and Carrum Downs. Companies such as Light and Easy and Mono Pumps have been attracted to the area. The Seaford and Carrum Downs precincts contribute 40% of Frankston’s gross revenue, 22% of the city’s employment and 60% of the city’s regional exports.
Business in the CAA
In the retail and commercial heart of Frankston is a dichotomy with a well patronised and successful “box” shopping centre surrounded by a strip shopping precinct that has been in desperate need of activation for at least a decade. Landlords – uncertain about the future occupancy of their properties – are unprepared to spend money to upgrade facades, so that many main street buildings now appear dilapidated and unwelcoming. Possible new tenants are discouraged from renting, and the diversity of traders reduces. Slowly but surely, the foot traffic on the strip gets smaller as the vacancy rate gets bigger. At January 2014, the City Centre shop vacancy rate across the City Centre was 13.3 per cent.
A partial transformation has commenced at one end with the impending arrival of South East Water to Frankston and the 700 plus employees. We would like to see other large employers to set up their offices or shops in the City Centre to help activate the City. Large employers bring office workers on to the streets surrounding their offices at lunch-times, on tea breaks, and before and after work. They shop. They buy food. They drink coffee. They socialise after work. By the way the FBN is working with Frankston Council to bring back Ritchies to the CAA.
The FBN has been advocating for a State Government Department to be relocated to Frankston. As a Metropolitan Activity Centre that is supposed to help absorb the growing population of the southern region of Melbourne, Frankston needs to provide a diverse range of jobs. Presently two of Frankston’s top employees target health and wellbeing: Peninsula Health is a health service provider; and Monash University specialises in tertiary health-care education. Consistent with the municipality’s emerging specialisation in health and wellbeing, the most desirable result for Frankston would be the relocation of Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) – a unit within the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure – to Frankston’s City Centre.
Peninsula Health – one of the three largest employers in the Frankston municipality – is undertaking a huge and costly expansion at the Frankston Hospital site. The organisation will eventually run out of room. If 500 Peninsula Health staff whose work did not tie them to the hospital complex, worked instead in City Centre offices, it would help relieve the need for growth on the hospital site at the same time as providing a significant social benefit to Frankston’s City Centre. This is another possibility for the station redevelopment.
Another option is to relocate an educational institution to the CAA. Chisholm has funds allocated for redevelopment. This would be well spent by developing new facilities in the CAA or better still as part of the station redevelopment. Development could occur with disrupting their existing facilities and would free up an already crowded site in Fletcher Road. This would be a win win for Frankston.
Frankston Station Precinct
We thank the State Government for the opportunity to be part of the Frankston Station Precinct taskforce and represent local businesses and traders.
With all the positives that Frankston has to offer, it is disappointing that the Frankston Station has now been neglected since promises were made in 1974. With the promise of a $50 million redevelopment we need to ensure that what we get as a City is what we want and deserve.
We are looking for a modern, safe and attractive Station precinct that will still be relevant in 40 years’ time. It will have good pedestrian movement high quality shops and office spaces that will attract more businesses and visitors into the CAA.
The Station precinct is the Transport hub of the Mornington Peninsula, with commuters coming from all points of the Peninsula and surrounding areas to commute into Melbourne. It is therefore imperative that commuters have easy access to public transport via a safe, accessible and all weather friendly transport hub.
The station redevelopment will be the catalyst for the activation of the CAA. In fact what Frankston needs is a major transformation matched to a long term vision and plan for the look and feel of this city. Any development needs to be consistent with a well understood picture of Frankston in 20 years’ time. Too many decisions have been based on short term fixes rather than long term improvement. The FBN believes this vision for the CAA needs to be addressed as matter of urgency.
The redevelopment of the station precinct must include additional car parking for both commuters and visitors to the city. We have a crying g need for more car parking in the CAA precinct. The FBN would like to debate the pros and cons of fees for parking and do recognise that multi decking parking comes at a substantial cost.
The redevelopment should be modelled on similar projects such as Box Hill Station and North Sydney Station. These two examples included retail, commercial and office space components in the project.
Frankston as a destination
The FBN is delighted to see finally signage to be erected along Peninsula Link directing people to Frankston. Frankston/Carrum/Seaford area has the attributes to be a worthy destination rather than a place to travel through on the way to the Mornington Peninsula. Our coastline is award winning, our green space defining and hospitality industry welcoming. Our visitor centre on the foreshore has won a number of awards.
The redevelopment of the Yacht Club will continue the strategy to build our beachside attractions and water sports profile.
Further work is needed to promote Frankston as a tourist destination for day trippers and short stays.
The FBN and Frankston Tourism are looking to work closer together to have a louder voice with all levels of Government.