Twelve more containers are coming to String Bean Alley and for many that is good news but there are now concerns about the impact on the adjoining L Shed trading area.
Ten of the new containers will be positioned on the north side of SBA backing into L Shed. Perhaps the photo of the back of the new Visitor Centre container best illustrates the concerns. Firstly there is the unattractive steel wall and secondly the depth of the stall space left in L Shed.
The sterile steel wall will be less obvious with gaps in between containers (the Visitor Centre container is the longest in the aisle) and there is a suggestion that it could be further relieved with see-through, glass-walled containers. It should be noted that glass walls may restrict stock display options.
The space left for trading on the south side of L Shed is considered by many to be inadequate with one trader saying he will not be able to conduct business in his resized stall. Narrow stalls do exist in the Upper market but they are usually on walkways where increased traffic flow supports the size restriction for certain market businesses. Providing more narrow stalls in a standard trading aisle will result in empty trading spaces according to some traders as prospective tenants look for larger alternatives.
Some traders on the north side of L Shed fear they will be facing empty stalls and blank steel walls which will almost certainly be harmful for business.
Are these reasonable concerns? Have strategies already been worked out to address these types of issues? Do the containers in SBA need to be set so far back? Are glassed wall containers economically feasible?