The issue of parking has been raised numerous times in discussions about The Levee.
Starr Partners managing director Andrew Cant believes it could be part of the issue but Movie Heaven owner John Lee believes it is the root of The Levee's problem.
Mr Lee, who has recently moved his business out of The Levee to operate from home, said East Maitland has parking on both sides of the street, right in front of the shops. He also pointed out smaller centres like Tenambit and Telarah likewise had parking in front of the shops.
"There's 11 half-hour car parks in The Levee, and they're on the wrong side - passengers are getting out on the road side," he said.
"People want to pull up to the shops with no obstacles."
He wants to see council introduce angle parking in The Levee and use the marketing levy it charges to fund a three or four-storey car park in Elgin Street.
The Mercury took a visit to the centre of town and found that some shoppers agree with Mr Lee judging by their actions.
Two motorists had created their own 45-degree angle parking on the wrong side of the mall on Monday afternoon, while others had squeezed their cars into unmarked spaces in front of the Riverlink building.
This was despite there being an almost untouched car park not far from the mall.
The two-storey car park on Ken Tubman Drive near the former Supercheap Auto building was almost full on the bottom level, but up on the roof, dozens of car parks remained free at midday on Monday.
The parks were unprotected from the elements, however still within walking distance to town.
The Mercury mapped how long it took to walk from the furthest end of the car park to The Levee entrance to the Riverside Plaza. It took our 26-year-old, reasonably fit journalist five minutes and 46 seconds to walk the 450 metres, without being impeded by grocery bags, a trolley, pram or anything other than a handbag.
The car park is privately owned by Panthera Property Group which runs the Riverside Plaza, but CEO Chakyl Camal said it is open for all to use.
Despite this, Mr Camal believes parking remains a huge issue in the CBD, saying the rooftop car park was unappealing as it was not covered.
Council has commenced a review of parking within Central Maitland to determine future car parking requirements, which has now closed for feedback.
A draft report of the study is currently under review. Public consultation on the report will take place prior to being reported to council.
Read more on what Chakyl Camal had to say about parking in Friday's Mercury.