ALDI buys Busy Bee Shopping Centre

TOORMINA could soon become the retail mecca of the Coffs Coast, now that ALDI has paid more than $4 million for a slice of the southern suburb.

Busy Bee Shopping Centre, on Minorie Drive at Toormina, has been purchased by grocery retailer ALDI for $4.08 million from local investment trust Verdia.

Colliers International Coffs Harbour brokered the multi-million dollar deal and will be managing the property for the international buyer.

Colliers principal, Steve Little, said the current tenants of the Busy Bee have commercial leases in place that are not affected by the sale.

“The tenants have a right to stay until 2013, and I'd like to think the tenants will be there for years,” Mr Little said.

“The property has been bought as an investment and the new owners have given Colliers the task of managing the property for a number of years.”

That news should come as some relief to the tenants, with rumours abounding following the sale of Busy Bee.

Unreal Estate licensee Kerry Hines, who is also a recently elected Coffs Harbour City councillor, said tenants have been concerned by what the new owner's plans might be for the site.

“Change is inevitable and as the town grows and develops, these types of things are going to happen,” she said.

“For now the only difference is we're paying rent to someone different, and the future will depend on what plans they have and when they will start.”

A spokeswoman for ALDI, who operates more than 150 stores across Australia, said at this stage the company has no immediate plans for the site.

However, the spokeswoman said a new store would provide up to 20 ongoing jobs, as well as stimulate local employment during the construction stage.

The site is opposite Centro Toormina, which is currently undergoing its own multi-million dollar redevelopment. The Busy Bee site is 4100 sqm with a total building size of 1315 sqm.

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