The future of John Street always attracts plenty of community comment whether its opinions on the street’s revitalisation and the size of the carparks or how retail outlets can survive in the era of online shopping.
For local businessman Dale McNamara John Street has become one of his latest projects.
Last year he purchased Castlereagh House to add to his John Street portfolio that also includes the building just up that street that houses the Thai restaurant, florist and a retail outlet and the Albion Hotel.
He told the Singleton Argus he would continue to invest in the strip should the opportunity arise in the future.
However, he has concerns about development, not only in John Street, but the anywhere in the Singleton LGA being difficult given the ‘red tape’ regulations and lack of innovation when it comes to new types of development.
“I thought about putting senior accommodation in Castlereagh House – it’s a beautiful building in the centre of town and could be ideal for something like that in the second level but it would be so hard to gain approval,” he said.
“We are putting in a lift so we can market the upper level space but what we want to see is John Street alive again and full of confidence.
“Too many vacant shops detract from the town centre.” Mr McNamara holds a diverse range of business investments in the region from mining, agriculture, hotels and commercial and retail outlets. As a true local he said he was committed to the growth of the district and bringing new businesses and people to town.
“But we all have to work together to achieve this investors, Singleton Council and the community,” he said.
He is looking forward to the revamp of Castlereagh House and what opportunities would arise from this work.
In other commercial new Singleton Square, bought last October by a Sydney family who also hope to turn it into a thriving retail and service centre, has been refurbished and Singleton Council has committed to spending $7 million on the stage two revitalisation of John Street – the northern end that includes Bailey Union Park.