By Jess Baker
$3 million carpark and building renovations will soon begin at the Stanthorpe Plaza, with existing tenants to vacate the centre by the end of next week.
Five ‘specialty shop’ tenants – including Mega Movie Sale, SLAPS Coffee House Café and Dep’s Nails – have left the centre since renovations were first announced in November, but three – including the Stanthorpe Plaza Newsagency, Millers and Studs ‘N’ Stuff Piercing and Beauty – remain.
Mark Long of Allure Retail, the retail leasing business handling the renovations, said the renovations are expected to take five months and will commence as soon as possible.
Woolworths, the Plaza’s “anchor tenant”, will continue to trade throughout the project while it undergoes expansion and refurbishment.
“The owner (of the Plaza) is working with Woolworths to deliver the renovations,” said Mr Long.
The new Stanthorpe Plaza is set to be 3500 square metres in size with eight specialty shops – all of which will be available for lease.
“The external walls (of the centre) will stay the same, we’re just demolishing everything inside,” said Mr Long.
“There will be new floors, new ceilings, new toilets, a new Woolworths and new shops. The carpark is also getting redone and shade sails will be installed.”
Mr Long said there are leasing opportunities available for food and service providers, including for beauty and cosmetic services, clothing stores, cafes, and takeaway food providers.
The redevelopment will also see a new entrance, new shopfronts and signage added to the Plaza to create a “natural, modern aesthetic”.
The Stanthorpe community has long been crying out for renovations at the Plaza, but controversy has come from the way they have been introduced.
Some existing and former tenants of the Plaza have said they are disappointed in the lack of communication from the centre owner and those acting on the owner’s behalf.
Mr Long said tenants were told in November that the owner of the Plaza was “committed to getting the renovations delivered” and there would be a place for them at the centre should they choose to return post-renovations.
“We have given existing tenants an opportunity to come back after renovations but they haven’t responded,” he said.
Warwick and Stanthorpe Today reported last month that some Plaza tenants have decided to permanently relocate to an alternate location – most to Main Street – after receiving notice of impending rent increases.
When asked if rents would increase at the centre following renovations, Mr Long said it is important to think of the refurbished centre as a new centre – with new rents.
“Our rents will be in line with the market,” he said.
At this point in time, Woolworths is the only tenant that will remain at the Plaza post-renovations.
Mr Long said he encourages businesses interested in securing a shop at the new Plaza to contact him on 0407 781 157 or by email at email@example.com.