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1 February, 2022

New supermarket on horizon for Mareeba

A THIRD supermarket is on the way for Mareeba, with a new shopping complex set to be constructed on the corner of Rankin and Byrnes Streets.

By Rhys Thomas

An artist's impression of the proposed Woolworths and shopping centre development for Mareeba.

The site, which is across the road from the Mareeba Centre and the Coles supermarket, has been purchased by Sphere Group Development which plans to construct a new shopping complex by the end of 2023. 

Sphere Group Development director Greg Ritchie has ties to Mareeba, having lived in the town before and been involved in multiple residential developments but this is his first commercial project. 

“I have a love for the town and a love for the people, I want to see Mareeba grow - we can take the dream to a finished product,” he said. 

Whilst the idea for a new shopping centre has been floating around for over five years, in October 2021, Sphere Group Development reached an agreement and was able to start planning their newest venture. 

The company has extensive experience in developing shopping centres, with similar projects in Victoria where it are based. 

The next step in the Mareeba project is to put together a document package to support a development application to Mareeba Shire Council. 

“We’ve been working closely with council and they are excited to get this project moving,” Mr Ritchie said. 

“This centre is needed and right now everyone has their foot on the accelerator.” 

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. 

Approximately 3500sqm of the 4500sqm centre will be taken up by Woolworths, while the remaining 1000sqm will be allocated to other stores such as pharmacies, bakeries and the like. 

“We have a commitment from Woolworths and BWS to occupy the new centre which will ultimately include 4500sqm (approx.) of retail floor space,” project manager Kris Wilson said. 

“This will provide for a full-sized Woolworths Supermarket, a BWS and specialty retail. 

“The planned covered carpark for the new centre will also be easily visible and easily navigable.” 

A development application is expected to be lodged to MSC in the near future with plans to have the first shovel in the dirt by late 2022 and the centre to be operational in late 2023.

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