General News

22 August, 2022

Developers present proposed new shopping centre to Mareeba

DEVELOPERS of an ambitious new shopping centre stopped into Mareeba last week to hear from residents and businesses owners about the proposed development in a bid to gain insight into how it is being received and asking for the community’s support.

By Rhys Thomas

Proposed retail centre project manager Kris Wilson, Chamber president Joe Moro with Sphere Group Developer Greg Ritchie.
Proposed retail centre project manager Kris Wilson, Chamber president Joe Moro with Sphere Group Developer Greg Ritchie.

Sphere Group Development’s application to build a new shopping complex on the corner of Byrnes and Rankin Streets is currently being assessed by Mareeba Shire Council.

But in the interim, developer Greg Ritchie, along with project manager Kris Wilson, attended the Mareeba Chamber of Commerce Business Luncheon, to outline the details of the project before opening the floor up to questions. 

Chamber president Joe Moro welcomed the proposed shopping centre, saying it would be a major addition to Mareeba. 

“I know a lot of people do not like change but I love change,” he said. 

“This project will be a significant improvement to Mareeba.” 

During the construction period, 120 direct and indirect jobs will be created, with 180 ongoing jobs when the centre becomes operational, all with a local employment focus. 

The proposed centre will feature an array of speciality stores to accompany major retailer Woolworths which has already signed on to take over 3500sqm of the 4500sqm centre.

A new drive through fast food outlet will also be built on site but which one has yet to be revealed. 

According to the developers, Woolworths has held off on upgrading the online section of its Atherton store, opting to instead add the improvements to the new supermarket in Mareeba.

During their presentation, Mr Ritchie said the need for the centre had been identified some time ago and residents of Mareeba he had spoken to welcomed the development. 

“The feedback that we have had from the locals to date is that the centre is something that is wanted,” he said. 

“Not sure if everybody likes it, but generally people have been telling us it is wanted and needed for the town. 

“It is going to bring some exciting opportunities and it will have flow-on effects to other businesses.” 

Luncheon attendees were given the chance to ask questions relating to the development, with the majority centred around access to the centre from the Byrnes Street and Rankin Street entrances and the traffic issues that might cause around that intersection. 

The developers advised a traffic management plan was being specifically developer for the project and initial studies had shown the access points would work however they took the feedback onboard and promised to look further into it. 

The developers are hoping to have the first shovel in the dirt by mid next year with an expected 12-18 month construction time, having the centre ready to open by late 2024.

In the meantime, they have asked locals to send letters of support for the development to Mareeba Shire Council as it continues the assessment process.


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