BLUES SKIES: Troy Mitchell from LJ Hooker commercial.
BLUES SKIES: Troy Mitchell from LJ Hooker commercial. Rachel Vercoe

More doors open in CBD

THEY say that as one door closes another one opens, and it rings true in Coffs Harbour's city centre.

While news of the impending closure of the Witchery store in Harbour Dr is a blow for shoppers, the director of LJ Hooker Commercial Coffs Harbour, Troy Mitchell, said there was plenty of confidence being shown by new businesses moving into the CBD.

"We've leased three shops in the last couple of months, and those comprise tenants who are taking three, five and 10-year leases with options,” Mr Mitchell said.

"That's also on on top of the amount of money these tenants are spending to upgrade their shops. There's no lack of confidence in trading in Harbour Dr.”

The new businesses include a computing store and two cafes.

Mr Mitchell said these tenants signify a changing of the guard in what types of businesses are attracted to the city centre.

"What we're finding along Harbour Dr is a change from traditional retail to more service industries - Yellow Brick Road, Aussie Home Loans and travel agents are an example of that.”

However Mr Mitchell believes Coffs Harbour City Council could be doing more to bring the heart of town to life.

"Harbour Dr has a vacancy rate of about 15%. That vacancy rate has been increasing for the last two to three years. During that period, the council has promised to do certain upgrades along Harbour Dr, but that has been postponed,” he said.

"CBD owners have contributed a lot of money by way of a levy for upgrading the CBD and the delays in that money being spent doesn't help trading along Harbour Dr.

"The CBD remains a vibrant trading area

and while individual properties and centres get refurbished, the onus falls on council to upgrade the streetscape.”



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