The owner of the Goulburn Marketplace has not ruled out a wider development sometime in the future.
But for now, Paul Lederer is concentrating on expansion of the Verner Street shopping centre.
His company, Lederer Group, has completed an upgrade of the facility’s carpark, while Aldi and Woolworths have collectively invested some $6.5 million in store improvements.
He is awaiting a council decision on a $10.5 million plan to reconfigure some existing shops, introduce five more specialty stores, an outdoor children’s play area and new amenities. It involves expanding BWS into the current newsagency site, relocating the newsagent to the east, along with other shops to be built in that direction. Dedicated parking bays for easy collection of online orders for both BWS and Woolworths would be installed.
More eateries and a walkway from the Millers store through to the carpark are also planned. The development will shift the Marketplace forward six metres into the current car park.
A council spokesman said the DA attracted four submissions, with no timeline yet for a decision.
Mr Lederer said he was talking to new retailers and customers on what was needed in the mall. He could not name possible tenants at this stage.
His company once considered a much broader development, including a pedestrian mall and Big W store behind the former Huntley Arcade. But that plan was withdrawn when Big W pulled out, citing market conditions.
Asked whether he would contemplate future expansion, given available real estate in the area, Mr Lederer said he’d never say no.
“If it makes sense and the numbers stack up, why not? We are always talking to major retailers,” he said.
Mr Lederer said the project would add about 1000 square metres to the Marketplace.
“We did a minor refurbishment about 10 years ago but this was needed to take it to the next level,” he said.
“...We’re excited about it. It’s the right place and the right time.”
The council spokesman said two of the public submissions raised the Return and Earn scheme at the site, while the others touched on the development’s presentation to Sloane Street and how this would fit in with Sloane Street’s historic precinct, landscaping on the Sloane Street aspect and noise control at the new loading dock and waste collection area on the project’s southern side.
He said the Roads and Maritime Service had requested a traffic impact study. Councillors, rather than planning staff, are expected to decide the DA.
Mr Lederer has owned Marketplace for some 22 years. His association with Goulburn stretches back about 40 years. His late uncle, Andrew Lederer, owned Crookwell Road property, Pine Ridge, which passed to Paul after his passing. The family also owned another Crookwell Road property, Kangaroobie, at one stage.
“My uncle was very fond of the Goulburn. He absolutely loved the place and thought it was the centre of the universe,” he said.
His nephew maintains the link and says he has many good friends here.
He sees great prospects for the city but believes transport is the key.
“If there’s a will, there’s a way,” Mr Lederer told The Post.
“We’re talking about lots of things in Goulburn. The fast train has been talked about for 30 years and it’s disappointing it hasn’t eventuated.
“Goulburn really does have the potential and one day it will happen….You need industry to come here but if you have the right structure in place, it will follow.”
Mr Lederer described the council as proactive, practical and possibly one of the easiest to deal with in NSW.
He’s been in business for 55 years. His family moved to Australia from Hungary when he was 10 years old. His uncle Andrew came too at the height of the Hungarian Revolution – a revolt against Soviet policies which saw thousands of refugees flee the country.
“My father fought for the betterment of his family,” Mr Lederer said.
They settled in Sydney where the young Paul took a keen interest in soccer.
“Once it’s in your DNA you never forget it,” he said.
Andrew Lederer was awarded an OAM for services to soccer in 1985 and his nephew has continued the tradition. Paul is the founder and chairman of the Western Sydney Wanderers.
He’s been in the “meat game” since 1957. His uncle started the famous Primo Meats which Paul inherited and ran until some two years ago when he divested it to start Real Dairies. This company has several manufacturing plants and employs 300 people. Mr Lederer has also been involved in manufacturing, finance and property development for many years.
Nevertheless, Goulburn remains close to his heart.
“We like the area and the people. We believe in the city, its potential and we invest in it,” he said.
Mr Lederer hopes to start construction on the Marketplace redevelopment after Easter.