Katherine is slowly turning its image with fewer empty shopfronts in the CBD.
Two years ago, the Katherine Times counted 10 unoccupied commercial properties on the main street, and more than four in the Katherine Oasis Shopping Centre.
At the time, residents were concerned Katherine's retail centre would "crumble" under the business closures.
Fast forward to today and only five properties sit vacant on the main street, and two in the Oasis Shopping centre.
"You only have to look at Darwin City mall to realise it is not a good look to have vacant shops. It does not send a good message," Katherine Mayor, Fay Miller said.
"It is great that agencies are taking the opportunity to take up that shopfront in the street. It gives them a good opportunity to be very visible."
More recently, a hair dresser has taken up residence in the ANZ building and a funeral service opened as well.
The Sweetest Things has relocated to First Street, where it will be operating as a florist.
The ambiance of that main street is the window to the whole of the town.Katherine Mayor, Fay Miller.
Elsewhere, the multi-million dollar Puma service station opened on the Stuart Highway and, Whitehouse Furnishers moved to Katherine East.
"Retail has changed in the last 10 years and we have to change with it," Mayor Miller said.
"There are a lot of NGOs and GOs that have now relocated to the main street where they are more visible."
One possible reason for the increase in uptake could be down to demand for services from the community and surrounding regions, Mayor Miller said.
She reinforced the importance of presenting Katherine in the best light possible.
"Certainly, it is very important to present the main street with good ambiance. It is a highway as well as a main street and the ambiance of that main street is the window to the whole of the town.
"I had a comment today from somebody who had arrived from Alice Springs, who hasn't driven through here for a while. He said, 'your town looks really great, I love that median strip, with all that greenery'. That was just an outside impression from somebody who hasn't been here in a really long time."
Katherine Town Council acquired $5 million from the NT Government mid last year to revitalise the CBD.
Plans are underway, with a Darwin architect firm - Ashford Architects - contracted to devise a concept.
The concept design includes planting shady trees, and installing misting fans and shade structures.
If implemented, it would also see the median strip in the main street reduced from 10m to four, traffic divided to include two dual lanes, a speed reduction from 50 to 40kmh, and trucks bypassed via Victoria Highway and Bicentennial Road.
"Once the CBD redevelopment is done, it will be a big improvement and will be more encouraging for people to stop and look," Mayor Miller said.
"The most important thing for us to do as a council, as an economic development committee, is to ensure that it is a pleasing, pleasant place to look at for a start.
"People are more encouraged to invest when something is really, very pleasant."
Mayor Miller encouraged landlords to be reasonable with rent, while also keeping a "well maintained" shopfront.
"It is important for business owners to make sure their establishments are really well maintained and for us to make sure we provide that first impression when people come in," she said.
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