What's happening at James Street Plaza?
We are improving safety and the look and feel of Hamilton's James Street Plaza as part of our effort to deliver vibrant, safe and active public spaces. Construction of our upgrade commenced in mid-April 2021, and updates will be provided as this work progresses.
We will replace existing street furniture with new furniture at the edges of the plaza to deliver a more flexible open space which can be used by the community in multiple ways. Shade trees around the edge of the Plaza will be retained, and new garden beds planted at the base of the trees. Paving will be renewed to improve safety and drainage of stormwater.
View the James Street Plaza Masterplan process flow chart and our answers to Frequently Asked Questions to find out more about where we are up to in delivering this project.
Lighting up James Street Plaza
We will install a creative, interactive lighting feature which will celebrate Hamilton's unique character and heritage towards the end of our construction period. We recently asked the community for feedback on lighting concept options. Voting closed on 16 June and Option 2 "Microcosmic Mosaic" was the winner! Visit our Have Your Say page to find out more.
What to expect during construction
There will be some noise during our works and efforts will be made to minimise disruption where possible. Access to the public toilet will be maintained where possible, and alternative facilities will be available during any temporary closure of the permanent facilities. Please follow the safety directions of our team and signage on site.
At Council's meeting of 27 February 2018 it was resolved to develop a James Street Plaza Masterplan in consultation with Hamilton Business Improvement Association (BIA).
The Hamilton Townscape Study dated 1991 included the original design for the Plaza which closed the James Street roadway at Beaumont Street to create a community meeting area and multi-use space.
The increasing under-utilisation of the Plaza and concerns over public safety identified the need to review the site and develop a Masterplan. The drivers included anti-social and criminal behaviour related to the Telstra phone box and public toilets and the Plaza's infrastructure which requires renewal. There is strong support from Hamilton BIA for an upgrade.
City of Newcastle has undertaken a community placemaking process including a series of engagement activities as detailed in this diagram (pdf 2.2MB). This resulted in the development of two concepts which were publicly exhibited from 26 November 2019 to 13 January 2020.
The outcome of the community engagement with the preferred option was presented to a Councillor Workshop on 11 February 2020. The decision was made to finalise the James Street Plaza Masterplan using the concept option 2 Modern Town Square Masterplan (pdf 1.56MB).