Application for fourth Emerald shopping centre divides town
GRASSLAND behind the Caltex service station could become Emerald's fourth shopping centre precinct, complete with national retail stores, food outlets and a seniors' living component.
The development application will be considered by the Central Highlands Regional Council this year.
Emerald Waterfront Estate project development manager James Elliott said the company had big plans.
"The vision for the site is to provide a quality fully integrated, mixed-use development over time that will incorporate residential, seniors living, retail, commercial services and community amenities," Mr Elliott said.
"The large format focus of the retail offer is intended to serve the regional catchment, and complement and support, rather than compete with, existing small retailers in the township."
CD Adams principal Clinton Adams said he saw the project as a "natural extension" of the Emerald township.
"My understanding is that there are some major tenants looking at it... major ASX companies," Mr Adams said.
"It's just a natural progression... there has been larger companies that have had Emerald on their radar for quite a while."
But not everyone is happy about the proposal, and Stiletoes owner Amber Williams said small business owners would struggle if the project went ahead.
"We are struggling to fill three existing shopping centres, and the main street is full of empty shop fronts," Mrs Williams said.
She said she feared a new shopping centre could further the pain currently being felt by small businesses.
"I hope these investors know something we don't, or they have a very large white elephant," Mrs Williams said.
But Mr Adams said he saw no "negative impact at all".
"There's a major shopping centre across the road... it's where the major retail businesses are going," he said.
"These big shopping centres can affect the local business and, unfortunately, it's a matter that the biggest companies do continue to expand and have the money to expand."
Mr Elliot said the project, which would lap the Nogoa River, would provide jobs and "significant economic investment for the town".
"This development has the ability to provide a mix of complementary uses at a scale which would otherwise be limited in Emerald due to flooding and land package availability," he said.
"A development application has been made to council for an overarching precinct."
Mayor Peter Maguire said the submission period was open and anyone who wished to make a submission should.
"People look at all sorts of developments around the place, people will like some, others won't like any," Cr Maguire said.
"It's a commercial decision from the developer whether they go through with it, we've got approvals all around the place for motels and are any of them being built at the moment?"
The comment period for the project is open, and will close on February 19.
Phoebe Waldron: Is there a market for a development like this in town at the moment? There are empty shops all over town? And the Harvey Norman complex is a ghost town. I guess they must've done their research though.
Kez Vanohr: Hopefully they are including something for the kids, bowling, indoor playground... Hungry Jacks or Sizzlers?
Lynette James: Good idea. Maybe the prices of premises will come down and be in line with the rest of the country for a change.
Tammy Donnelly: Did anyone notice that there will be another set of traffic lights as you come off the bridge for access in and out of this development?
Cr Gail Godwin-Smith: The benefit of the public notification period (which is a requirement of all developments of this nature) provides the community with an opportunity to have their say before this is put to council for final consideration. I encourage everyone to have a look at the project proposal and put their concerns and suggestions into a submission.