A MAKEOVER of a “dark” and “scary” multi-level carpark is aiming to drive customers back to Boronia Mall.
The long-awaited revamp of the three-tier carpark next to Coles is set to be completed this week when the lift is switched on.
The multimillion-dollar overhaul includes a lift, travelators, security cameras and green and red lights indicating available spaces.
Boronia Mall manager Lawrence Peresso said the carpark was once an area shoppers and staff avoided.
He said the works, which started in October last year, had improved safety and made it easier for people to get their trolleys up to the second and third levels.
“The lighting is unbelievable. It’s like Christmas down here,” he said.
“It’s not as scary any more. It’s not vandal-proof but there are no blind spots.”
Mr Peresso said he hoped extra security features would deter “unsavoury” visitors.
The redesign was originally expected to cost $9 million but had come in at about $7 million, he said.
The bulk of the work was paid for by Coles and a small contribution was from the mall’s body corporate, on behalf of traders.
The two bottom levels have been changed to two-hour zones and parking inspectors are monitoring the carpark, Mr Peresso said.
Parking on the roof deck is free all day, although there are plans to change that to two hours.
Mr Peresso said better parking was part of a broader strategy to make the retro mall more attractive.
“I haven’t got a magic wand to bring people in but we’re doing our best,” he said.
Mick and Fiona Quinn from Aussie Veterans’ Op Shop, which has been in the mall 18 months, said the precinct used to have a reputation of being “dead” but that was improving.
“Slowly it’s coming back to life,” Mr Quinn said.
During construction, several traders raised safety concerns about walking to the top of the multi-level carpark at night after instances of people lurking near their cars and one man who performed a lewd act on the carpark stairs.
Coles spokeswoman Julia Balderstone said the carpark upgrade “will significantly enhance our customers’ shopping experience by improving their accessibility to the mall”.