Launceston is fast becoming known as the city of polarising architecture and public spaces.
Henty House, while an example of Brutalist architecture, divides people down the lines of architecture enthusiasts and those who can't stand the grey concrete slabs, devoid of any foliage or colour.
The Quadrant Mall, which was the first space to be redeveloped under Launceston's City Heart project, has also divided public opinion. However, there is a new contender for the most polarising public space of Launceston - the mall.
The Brisbane Street Mall, with its low-to-the-ground thylacine sculptures, has received a high level of scorn among residents, who hold disdain over the fact that it was not developed to become an indoor, covered in multiplex (complete with air-conditioning).
The mall has also been blamed for a long-standing issue in Launceston, the increase of vacant shop fronts.
It is undeniable that the particular sight of the Birchall's shop laying empty for two years is a sore spot for shoppers visiting the Brisbane Street Mall.
The 173-year-old book and collectibles shop was one of the largest giants among retailers in Launceston who were felled by unfavourable retail conditions.
Vacant shops, however, are not, endemic to just Launceston, retail across the country has had to adapt due to the increase of online shopping and changes in consumer habits.
While it's undeniable that it would be an improvement to the city if Launceston's vacant shops were filled, it is a complicated problem that needs multiple solutions to solve. There is no 'silver bullet' solution, despite many residents believing free parking will solve the issue.
Shop vacancies are a complex thing, they are driven by many factors such as rents, penalty rates, stock and parking, along with the habits of shoppers.
While it may not be to everyone's tastes, the mall at least has had a modern facelift and offers a unique outlook for shoppers.
Retailers and residents should embrace our uniqueness because it's only then solutions will be found.