Coffs Harbour CBD retail revamp in store
SHOPPERS will be able to enjoy the Kmart retail experience in the city centre as soon as Christmas if all goes to schedule.
Kmart has done a 180 in the past two years, reinventing the brand in a competitive market and becoming a national success story. Success breeds success so it's no surprise Kmart has selected Gowings' Coffs Central Shopping Centre as the location for its new flagship store.
"We are pleased to welcome Kmart to Coffs Central who will be joining us in time for Christmas 2017 subject to construction works," said Gowings' general manager Garth Grundy.
Retailers BIG W and Best & Less will be leaving the centre and it is understood Kmart is interested in employing both BIG W and Best & Less staff who wish to apply for new positions.
Construction is due to commence shortly for the reconfiguration of the Level 1 mall area. The sound of construction and sight of hard hats is not new to Coffs Central.
Following the success of previous upgrade works, Gowings has the confidence to further increase the depth and quality of the centre's offer.
"Not only have we seen an increase in Coffs Central's foot traffic and retail sales post development but we have seen a general revitalisation of the city centre," Mr Grundy said.
The proposed development includes an expansion of the centre to Gordon St creating new high street shops. A new mall entrance to the centre on Gordon St will improve pedestrian traffic flow and convenience. Two levels of commercial offices will be built above the centre to a five-star green energy standard.
Internal development works include a significant refurbishment of Level 1 with malls being reconfigured and a new entrance to Kmart to face the food court. A new mix of speciality retailers will also be introduced adding to the vibrant retail experience.
The total cost of the development is approximately $30 million which will provide a significant boost to local jobs and the economy. It is expected more than 200 jobs will be created during the construction period alone.
Construction works have started with the basement carpark near completion on Gordon Street. The total development is expected to be completed by mid-2018.
"Central to Gowings' decision to invest further in Coffs Central and indeed Coffs Harbour was the confidence it has received from council and the City Centre Masterplan Committee to revitalise the city centre and position Coffs Harbour as a strong regional hub to attract business and investment."
As a long-term investor which has been around for 149 years, Gowings has considered the long-term potential of Coffs Central and its role in the city centre.
With this is mind, Gowings lodged a development application for a four-star hotel that would complement the city centre's retailers and target corporate travellers.
"This development will have a profoundly positive impact to the city centre and will greatly assist with the objective of creating a vibrant regional city."