You may have heard retail giant Kmart might be opening a store in Warragul, but what exactly is going on?
Video: this story first appeared in the 25 February Baw Baw In Brief. For links or if video doesn’t play, click here.
There are plans to build a large-scale retail development on the corner of Queen Street and Hazel Drive.
Tom McInerney – managing director of applicant Trend Development Group – spoke to Baw Baw Shire councillors at their meeting last week, and he’s confident the site could be ready quickly if planning approval is granted.
“We believe that if we get this support and we go through the process, we can be delivering it by September this year and with 12 months have created the centre and 262 jobs ongoing for Warragul,” Tom said.
“Kmart and Bunnings are both what we call board approved, subject to the signing of a… lease, which is subject to planning.”
Liquor chain Dan Murphy’s is another potential tenant, but is not presently a part of the plan.
Tom actually argued the development would be good for retailers in Warragul’s CBD, as it could keep people from going on large shopping trips to Pakenham and other bigger towns.
“We’re not trying to create a ‘shopping centre,’ I know it’s a centre but we’re not trying to create a Woolies shopping centre to drag people out, … that shopping will happen in the centre of Warragul,” Tom said.
“We think the net benefit is large.”
The shire is actively supporting the plan, having resolved to write to Victoria’s planning minister about rezoning the land.