Major development gets go-ahead for Gympie region
CURRA is soon to become the place to be, with a long-awaited shopping centre given the go-ahead by Gympie Regional Council.
The project, with a shopping centre, fast food outlet and child care centre was approved by the Planning Department on Tuesday.
Developer Wayne Hoskin said the decision was a huge step forward for a project that he has been driving towards for 16 years, and hopes shops will be open by late next year.
"It's been a long time coming," the director of Australian Community Development said.
"What we're building out there will really give the area all its own identity."
The centre is to be built at the corner of the Bruce Highway and David Dr.
A butchers, bakery and bottle shop could also call the development home alongside an attached medical centre.
A child care centre will cater for 75-117 children.
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Mr Hoskin said tenants will be hand-picked "to make sure there's a good tenancy mix" and offers of interest were already rolling in. Other services are aimed at filling clear service gaps for the region.
"We knew there was a need for a child care centre," Mr Hoskin said.
"We want to get the mix right for the community."
Now the DA was in hand, he said the next step was to secure approval for operational works, which could take about six months to achieve.
Construction would then follow and the hope is the first shops will be running about one year after that.
"We've found the Gympie council to be very co-operative."
The possibilities do not stop at the shops, either.
Mr Hoskin said the centre would be great as a place to hold markets.
"They're always looking for regional areas for events," he said.
The centre is the first piece in what Mr Hoskin said should be rapid growth for Curra and the surrounding region.
Part of this could include a new school on land owned by the State Government just up the road.
In their application, Mr Hoskin and his co-developers said the centre will be the central hub for more than 6500 residents in the wider region by 2020.
In the decade after that, the population is expected to expand to almost 7200.
They said this target demographic should generate $54 million retail sales potential.
This should balloon to $62.6 million by 2024.