Gowings to rejuvenate city centre

NATIONAL shopping complex giant Gowings says its multi-million dollar revamp of Palms Shopping will by this time next year transform the holiday shopping experience in the Coffs Harbour city centre.

Just two months after purchasing the main street shopping centre for $30.8 million, the company is liaising with Coffs Harbour City Council over its planned centre rejuvenation. 

A pending development application plans a major upgrade of the shopping centre and promises massive things for Coffs Harbour city centre.

"If the DA, which is subject to council approval, proceeds reasonably smoothly over the next month or so the company is hoping for construction works to commence in the next two to three months and be completed by Christmas," Gowings managing director John Gowing said.

Leading tenant Coles is set to vacant the centre when it relocates into its purpose-built shopping centre complex on Harbour Dr opposite Brelsford Park.

Mr Gowing said the move will open up an exciting era in mainstreet shopping in Coffs Harbour.  

"With Coles moving down the street it offers that opportunity to redevelop the ground floor and embrace high street shopping in Coffs Harbour with shop fronts and al fresco dining opening outside onto the street," Mr Gowing said.

"Throughout Gowings 140 years of trading we have shared an affinity with city centre trading and high street retailing, we saw the opportunity with Coles leaving to bring the centre out.

"Some years ago shopping centre construction focussed on enclosing shoppers in, but with time that has changed as you see through various Westfield centres with shopping that flows in and opens out to vibrant street retailing.  

Mr Gowing said some tenants in the centre would relocate in weeks to come, but construction would create little disruption to shopping in the meantime.

The company has capitalised on the Mid North Coast's growing population in recent years acquiring shopping centres in Moonee Beach, Port Macquarie and Kempsey.

The centre's other major tenant Big W is locked into a lease until 2020 and will benefit from the company's phase two redevelopment with plans to upgrade the upper floor of Palms Shopping.