THE proponents of the $12m Coles Supermarket complex have foreshadowed construction is likely to get under way by September and the project’s planning was on “track”.
The Coles project is one of a cluster of commercial building developments under way or in the pipeline, which will see nearly $70m in new investment flood into the city.
Considered one of the biggest eras of new commercial development in the inner city, these projects also include the multi-million-dollar Aldi supermarket project and the $39.1m Mount Gambier Recreation and Community Hub.
The $6m construction of the Boandik Community Wellbeing Centre is also well under way at the aged care facility’s Lake Terrace East site, which will deliver a long awaited hydrotherapy pool to the city.
The development application for the recreational hub – the largest community-driven infrastructure project ever mooted for the region – has yet to be submitted to council given architects are still finalising the plans.
Figures released this week by Mount Gambier City show more than 50 new commercial categorised developments have received approval this financial year.
Mount Gambier realtor Matt Kain – from Complete Real Estate – said the current commercial development earmarked for the inner city precinct was biggest he had seen for many years.
“We are very optimistic about this new development, particularly because it is in the city centre,” Mr Kain said.
He said this substantial investment would inject confidence in the Blue Lake city and demonstrated the region was of “value”.
The realtor said the spins-off from these projects to the construction sector and associated industries would be significant for the city’s economy.
“The commercial real estate sector has been very strong for the past three years, with the exception of the main street,” Mr Kain said.
While the issue of empty vacancies in the city centre remained an issue, he said these new major retail projects should stimulate the city’s broader retail sector.
He revealed his agency had been fielding strong leasing inquiries with a number of new leases being secured.
GLG director Campbell Blennerhassett – who is overseeing the Coles development – said planning remained on track with the tender process for both the Target demolition and the Coles complex building contracts under way.
He said Target – which would close on May 25 – would not completely withdraw from the site until the end of June.
Mr Blennerhassett said it was likely the Target store would be demolished in July/August, subject to the relevant approvals.
“By the late August or early September I would think we would be getting into it (the construction),” he said.
He said the company was moving ahead with the development as “fast it could” given the relevant building approvals were needed.
While the company had yet to start marketing the retail space tenancies within the complex, he said a number of businesses had already made contract with the developer.
The Coles development is part of a stage two blueprint for the broader Fidler and Webb site, which has already seen its front buildings razed to make way for the Aldi development.
The Coles retail centre will house a modern supermarket and 10 speciality shops – the largest of these spaces will be occupied with a liquor store.
The balance of the site will incorporate car-parking, pedestrian walkways and landscaping.
“This proposal seeks to redevelop a large strategically located site within the centre of Mount Gambier,” the development application report said.