Toormina?s positive future

By MEL MARTIN

AS far as Chris Sercombe is concerned, the proposed doubling in size of Centro Toormina Shopping Centre will be a great investment into Toormina's future.

"Any expansion is good for the area," the owner of Toormina Real Estate said.

"It creates jobs, and will benefit local businesses by attracting more people not only to the centre, but other businesses as well."

Centro Toormina is planning to expand by more than 8700 square metres of retail space, from 12,523 square metres currently to 21,229, with the estimated value of the development worth $20 million.

New shops will include a Kmart, a mini major store, an auto service centre, and specialty shops, while Woolworths will expand, and Coles and the medical centre will remain where they are.

This according to the development application will better service the 75,000 people living in the centre's trade area. "It provides a modern functional, and attractive shopping centre that will enhance shopping facilities available to the residents of Toormina and wider area," the development application says.

"The proposal will satisfy consumer demand for a wider choice of retail facilities, especially Kmart which is not currently available in the market."

And to service the increase in shop numbers, parking will be expanded from 697 carparks to 872, while extra traffic lights will be installed at the intersections at Toormina and Bangalee roads and Toormina Road, Coorabin Crescent and Minorca Place.

According to the application, once in full operation, Centro Toormina will employ about 470 people, compared to the 210 employees now there, while construction would create just over 500 jobs.

"It will identify an area that a lot of people don't realise is a really nice place," Mr Sercombe said. "It's very central to Sawtell and Boambee and will probably even attract people from Coffs Harbour if it has a Kmart. As long as they take into consideration the traffic flows and the noise during building, then I think it's very positive."

n The Centro Toormina development application will be at Coffs Harbour City Council administrative offices for comment until June 4.



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