Unveiled: ‘bold’ $650k upgrade planned for McLaren Vale

The project, valued at $650,000, is designed to invite visitors and locals to spend more time exploring the unique offerings of McLaren Vale.

The McLaren Vale Main Street Tourism Vision has initiated a significant streetscape upgrade for Main Road, from the McLaren Vale Hotel to Hewitt Drive, aiming to enhance the area’s appeal as a tourism hub.

The project, valued at $650,000, is designed to invite visitors and locals to spend more time exploring the unique offerings of McLaren Vale.

The concept plan for this upgrade is the result of collaborative efforts with the community and aims to address various needs and desires expressed by both locals and visitors.

Feedback has highlighted the demand for more outdoor dining opportunities, the incorporation of public art, an increase in green spaces, and the installation of features like arbours and decorative lighting.

Key components of the proposed upgrade include:

  1. Arbours for Shade: The introduction of arbours along Main Road is intended to provide shaded areas for visitors. These structures will offer a refuge from the sun, encouraging people to linger in the area.
  2. Uplighting Street Features: The plan proposes to uplight built and landscaped features along the street. This lighting strategy aims to enhance the visual appeal of the area, particularly after dark, and to support a night-time economy for local businesses.
  3. Interactive Elements: Installation of visually dynamic and interactive elements is planned to make the streetscape more engaging. These features are designed to attract attention and encourage visitors to explore the area further.
  4. Public Realm Extension: To make the area more welcoming and accessible, the project includes extending the public realm. This will involve providing additional seating and enhancing landscaping to improve the overall visitor experience.
  5. Greenery Enhancement: Responding to the call for more green spaces, the upgrade will involve improving and increasing garden beds and planting additional street trees. This effort aims to make the streetscape more visually appealing and environmentally friendly.

One of the most notable proposals within the streetscape plan is a public art installation outside Tintara Winery, designed by Sam Songailo and Hatch Studio.

This $260,000 project comprises steel pillars with lighting, designed to create an immersive and experiential space for visitors. The installation’s colours and design aim to reflect the aspirations of McLaren Vale, symbolizing the town’s ambition for renewal and growth.

Another significant aspect of the upgrade is the focus on creating outdoor dining experiences, particularly in front of the McLaren Vale Hotel and Fruchocs building. This move aims to enhance the hospitality offerings along Main Road, although it is noted that funding for outdoor dining extensions is dependent on private interest.

The Onkaparinga Council is currently seeking community feedback on the draft McLaren Vale Main Road Concept Plan. The consultation process includes understanding community preferences regarding landscaping styles and feedback on the overall plan. The council emphasizes that the project aims to complement the heritage values and character of the area while introducing elements designed to surprise and delight visitors.

The streetscape upgrade is part of a broader vision to reinforce McLaren Vale as a key tourism destination within South Australia, with a focus on cycling-friendly businesses, decorative lighting, public art, and events to promote a night-time economy.

The project is scheduled to commence in September, following the community consultation period which ends on May 6.

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