The owners of the Marketplace shopping mall are planning a major redevelopment, four years after they withdrew a refurbishment proposal for the site.
In 2012, owners the Lederer Group announced a $28 million retail project, including a Big W, 12 specialty shops, pedestrian mall and 700 car parking spots. But in 2013 it abandoned the plan, saying Big W was not viable at that time due to competition from the new Target store. It was to be built behind the Huntly Arcade carpark and was dependent on securing a council laneway.
Now an overhaul is back on the agenda, but exactly what it entails is unclear. The company’s asset manager Steve Lacey declined to elaborate before discussions with tenants and a DA was lodged.
But the owners are preparing the way. Councillors agreed to their request at the most recent meeting to allow them to buy a 95 square metre section of Clinton Lane, off Clinton Street, for a carpark upgrade.
General manager Warwick Bennett said the reality was that the portion was already part of the carpark and most community members “would be unaware it was a council roadway.” He recommended the road closure and sale, saying it had “no strategic value or use to the council.”
“Nor does it provide sole access to any adjoining property and realistically has formed part of the Marketplace carpark for a number of years,” he wrote.
Councillors’ approval allows the carpark upgrade to begin. However a road closure application under the Roads Act and a valuation will have to be obtained. The matter will come back to councillors.
Mr Bennett said the owners were totally refurbishing the site, including modernisation of Woolworths supermarket. This part of the project would be done first, hence the need for the larger carpark on a block where a former butcher shop was demolished several years ago.
“It’s very exciting. It’s a good investment for Goulburn,” he said of the overall project.
Cr Margaret O’Neill, too, said the owner was “spending a few million dollars.”
“It will be welcomed by the community,” she said.