WITH a baker and a newsagent already committed to joining Dan Murphy’s and SUPA IGA at the new-look Summer Centre, developers say it is on track to open at the end of July.
Developer PrimeSpace Property has appointed Orange commercial property agent Benchmark to help sign up the retailers to fill the remaining 11 speciality stores.
Benchmark principal David Hall said interest in the centre had gathered pace since Dan Murphy’s opened its doors last month.
Mr Hall said negotiations were also underway with a butcher, with the developer keen to see a wide range of other retailers including a coffee shop, deli, pharmacist, sushi and gourmet sandwich maker.
“It’s a great opportunity for local businesses to jump on board,” he said.
“The interest from the local area is increasing.”
SUPA IGA owner Ian Ashcroft said while he was excited and nervous about the development, he was getting a lot of positive feedback about opening a second outlet in Orange.
“We used to get so many questions about if it’s going to open, now all the questions are about when. I think there’s a good hype about the project,” he said.
Mr Ashcroft said once both stores were operational he expected to employ about 200 staff.
“I think this will be the easiest place to shop in town and I believe IGA will do well, there’s just some uncertainly until you see it,” he said.
Absolute Professional Services project manager Steve Charlton, said he had 60 construction workers on-site, most of them from the local area.
He said one of the key aspects of the development was that shoppers would soon be able to enter the centre’s 276-space car park from entrances in both Sale and Summer streets, with a separate entrance for deliveries in Hill Street.
“That’s a substantial car park for the size of the centre,” Mr Charlton said.
Other highlights includea n undercover area to allow taxis and other vehicles to drop off and pick up shoppers.
There will also be a footpath that allows shoppers to walk from Sale Street through to Dan Murphy’s. Mr Charlton said particular attention had been given to ensuring the centre had a better feel than the previous Summer Centre.
“We hope it has a better ambience this time around,” he said.
“It will have all the things you expect in a 21st-century shopping centre.”