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27 January 2019 Posted by 


Business drives turn-around
LONG Jetty is bouncing back after a long decline and has become a trendy place to have lunch and go shopping.

And “The Jetty” is the perfect example of how a suburb in the doldrums can turn it all around with input from council, the community and shopkeepers.
I recently spent a sunny morning wandering the street peering into shops and cafes and saying “G’day” to people of all ages enjoying a day in the sun.
Two well known locals who have seen a big turnaround in their suburb are real estate agent and Central Coast councilor, Bruce McLachlan and “king of the diners” and South Sydney Rabbitohs stalwart, Bill Annesley.
“Long Jetty was a thriving centre in the 60s and  70s with four major banks, a Cinema, later a Supermarket,  but it was severely  impacted by the opening of the large, new Bay Village Shopping Centre at Bateau Bay,” Mr McLachlan said.
“High vacancies and a further decline came with a methadone clinic, creating a ghetto feel with drug addiction being the major visible clientele.”
“The suburb’s image suffered with talks in Council of moving suburb boundaries and even a suburb name change was mooted.
Commercial vacancy
“With 50% commercial vacancy the street image was a poor visible entry to the holiday area of The Entrance. The jetties were in poor repair and Council even considered removal to save costs.”
Mr McLachlan said an unpopular master plan was finally exhibited, that saw the commercial area turned into high rise residential and removal of the iconic shops.
Despite being told it was a done deal and that was the Council plan, major opposition was raised. Residents wanted assistance to the commercial area, not replacement and an active campaign by precinct committee members and Mr McLachlan saw one of the most successful community campaigns council had ever encountered, including TV and local media and even ACÄ coverage
The unpopular master plan was overturned. Council was forced to enter into negotiations with the shopkeepers, with Bruce McLachlan appointed as Business Liaison Officer and council was encouraged to work with the Long Jetty traders.
To their credit, Council officers cleverly devised a color palette, paintwork assistance project. Each commercial premises was given a $2000 grant to paint their premises in accordance with the multi color scheme Council had devised, giving an immediate, colorful, vibrant streetscape amenity.
Young traders, led by the Glass Onion Society Cafe, were attracted to the suburb and within two years the appalling, commercial ghetto-like vacancy rate was gone and replaced with young eclectic traders that now dominate the commercial strip, giving Long Jetty a funky vibe and an alternate visitor experience to the large shopping centre experience.
The young traders successfully banded together and created the Long Jetty Festival, which received the Councils highest funding grant, more than any other community festival.
The festival was so successful it grew beyond the financial capabilities of the original traders and future events will now go to a professional events company. 
Young traders
The young traders like Green Tangerine, Glass Onion and Modern Organics and the funky new bar and cinema The Savoy, have been a shining example in turning a jaded suburb image, to one of the most sought-after residential property addresses on the Coast.
“Prices have improved dramatically, young families and tradies are renovating the older homes and the suburb is transforming from originally a pensioner area and then rental investments, to gentrified young owner occupiers investing and improving the amenity and build quality of the suburb,” Mr McLachlan said.
His agency, McLachlan Real Estate, set a new benchmark price of $1.6m, which still stands.
Bill Annesley is delighted to see his suburb bounce back. Mr Annesley is known far and wide for his dining and cocktail photos on his Facebook page.
“It’s the rise and rise of Long Jetty,” he said in a recent post.
“One of the leading retailers in Terrigal, Miki Finn, has opened up in Long Jetty and this is a great sign.
“In recent weeks the Savoy, a trendy bar, has also opened up and a brand new tattoo shop.
“There have been a couple of more cafes open up including Riffs, an amazing little cafe featuring Beatles memorabilia. There are several clothing retailers and a gift and stationery shop called Page One.
“Wow, I thinking Long Jetty is here to stay as the Central Coast’s place to go with its trendy, hipster style and look attracting people from all over,” Mr Annesley said.



Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.