Shop 'til you drop at $23m complex

COLES Coffs Central is the title of a new $23 million supermarket development planned for the corner of Earl Street and Harbour Drive.

Plans were submitted to Coffs Harbour City Council yesterday for the proposed 4135 square metre supermarket, which is planned to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The site is owned by Canzon Pty Ltd, a consortium principally made up of Coffs Coast businesspeople Kay Gam, Rodger Pryce and the Lance Cousins Group.

Canzon managing director Rodger Pryce said the development, which had taken two years to bring to the present stage, represented the biggest investment in Coffs Harbour's CBD since the building of the Palms Shopping Centre.

He said Canzon had a 20-year commitment from Coles for the project.

Mr Pryce said the design for Coles Coffs Central was a forerunner of the Wesfarmers influence on the Coles market, with its free standing concept reflecting the new reality of shopping.

He said today people were shopping two or three times a week rather than once a week and wanted a stopover that was quick, easy and convenient, rather than having to negotiate their way through a shopping centre.

He said the proposed project would provide an estimated 50 jobs during construction and 120 jobs in the completed supermarket.

Lance Cousins is the architect for the project and his design includes a number of design elements to reduce the scale of the building and add focus, interest and colour.

These include a soaring entry canopy at the corner of Earl Street and Harbour Drive.

The design includes all-weather under cover off-street car parking for 143 cars.

Mr Cousins was also involved in the design and project management of the Boambee Central Shopping Centre.

If approved, construction of Coles Coffs Central is expected to begin later in the year with the new store to open at the end of 2010.

Mr Pryce said the old building 'had not got wet' on March 31, but they had designed the car park with a retention basin and would also have early flood warning equipment.

A spokesman for Coles said while they were excited about the proposal for a new store and looked forward to working with Coffs Harbour City Council and other stakeholders, the current Coles supermarket in Palms Shopping had a lease until 2013.

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