There will be a trial with free parking in the Woensel Shopping Centre. Councillor Monique List has promised this.
On Tuesday evening, many of Eindhoven City Council’s political parties insisted something had to be done to help WoensXL out of its dilemma. The centre has been struggling with declining visitor numbers for more than ten years. There are more and more vacant stores and business owners are grumbling about the Municipality’s lack of investment in the centre. “The situation is dire”, LPF Councillor, Tjerk Langman, says.
Several political parties believe the City Council should indeed do more. For example, they suggest seeing if free parking helps. According to shopkeepers, many customers stay away because they have to pay for parking.
Free 2-hr parking
For example, there could be a so-called blue zone – free parking for the first two hours. Councillor List has now said she would investigate this. “But that will cost money, and that hole has to be plugged eventually”, she warned the City Council.
Paid parking can help, the parties think, but it is certainly not the solution. “The mall has a lot of problems. Empty floor space, overdue maintenance, falling rents, nuisance from mopeds, and paved public spaces”, Christian van der Krift, of the Christian Unie, says. Most of the city’s councillors, therefore, believes the Municipality can pull out more stops to help the mall’s store owners.
There should be more trees and shrubs, new centre furniture, and more marketing. “The centre is now getting a lot of attention, with extra greenery and new paving. That should also be done in this area”, VVD Councillor, Jeroen Dasbach, says.
Entice more stores
The parties want the City Council to put more effort into enticing new retail formulas to establish themselves in WoensXL too. The Municipality is doing that in the city centre. The parties also believe that a plan should be drawn up to make WoensXL ‘future-proof’.
D66 Councillor, Jorien Migchielsen says, “A lot of shopping is done online nowadays. The needs of consumers are changing, and WoensXL has to respond to that too. Not only with shopping but also with more restaurants, sports facilities and homes, for example”.
According to List, the City Council has now taken the initiative to come up with an action plan. Experts are currently working on how to breathe new life into the shopping centre. The Councillor disputes the idea that the Municipality has paid too little attention to WoensXL in recent years.
“The city centre is now receiving attention because nothing has happened there for 25 years. WoensXL was rebuilt in 2007. We are also in constant dialogue with business owners in Woensel. We are aware of what is going on”.
Editor: Melinda Walraven