Businesses, landlords and locals must work together to strengthen Manly’s community and strong global identity, according to Centre Manager, Meegan Clancy.
Describing a strong community offering as being a mix of everyday functional services, events, cultural experiences, dining and entertainment, Ms Clancy said that Manly is particularly strong across all of these but that boutique retail businesses are struggling in line with global trends.
She urged locals and businesses to continue supporting boutique shops – from the recently opened Little Manly Florist and Shiralee Meats, to 14-year Manly icon, A Touch of Europe Bakehouse on Darley Road – to ensure their survival along with Manly’s village feel.
Patrick Kelleher, the managing director of Pine Property, agreed.
“Local businesses are the fabric of communities. We rely on them to bring us together so our support of them is critical.”
The Northern Beaches Council and the Manly Chamber of Commerce are also working together to foster the needs of Manly locals, with a destination management plan to ensure it remains a suburb of choice for Australian and international visitors – the balance of which can be challenging to achieve.
Speaking to Pine Property, a council spokesperson said they are committed to improving the village feel of Manly.
Part of that is the Manly Laneways Project which has seen the pedestrianisation of Manly and streetscape upgrades to improve safety and connectivity.
“The community has made it clear that a priority of council should be to foster an inclusive community,” the spokesperson said.
That extends to the eight million visitors who attend the seaside suburb every year, often driven by the same values which locals love, including events such as Taste of Manly, the Australian Open of Surfing, Manly Jazz Festival and the World Food Markets.
Tenancy mix: landlords also responsible
Landlords too have a responsibility to serve Manly, according to Ms Clancy, who said they should select tenants who will provide a good balance of services for both locals and tourists, thereby providing Manly with improved long term value.
“Carefully selected tenants will further build Manly’s strength of offering and generate higher rents for landlords in the long term.”
“If you look at shopping centres, that’s what they do well. It’s all carefully planned and structured for the long term benefit of everyone involved.”
Mr Kelleher said that not having that structure around the tenancy mix can be a challenge but that as a Northern Beaches local resident and commercial real estate agent, he is also responsible.
“It is hard to always get it right but I am conscious of securing the right tenancy mix in the areas we service. Putting in the wrong tenant benefits no one. Not the landlord. Not the tenant and not the community.
Managing growth in Northern Beaches communities
The same community foundations that make Manly so strong are also essential throughout the Northern Beaches, including events, experiences, cultural spaces, local businesses and the right tenancy mix.
Soon the connectivity of these communities will be improved with the Connecting Northern Beaches project which will see 36km of new coastal walkways and cycleways connecting Palm Beach to Manly.
The $1 million Stronger Communities Fund provides further support. The fund provides grants of $5,000 to $50,000 for incorporated not for profit community groups to build a more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive local community.
“Growth on the Northern Beaches is inevitable; however with the right planning it does not need to come at the detriment to its communities,” Mr Kelleher said.