THE Kurim shopping centre could be redeveloped into a childcare centre with a second storey offering medical and community services if its owner Eddy Eid has his way.
But Mr Eid is relying on Orange City Council to contribute towards the venture that he estimates will cost between $4.5 million and $5 million.
The council dropped skip bins at the troubled shops to aid a clean-up over the weekend, but Mr Eid said he paid for about 22 workers to remove the debris left by vandals.
“The community ruined this place, it’s up to the community to contribute towards it,” he said.
“The ball is in [the council’s] court.
“The council were good enough to contribute the garbage bins and the rest was on me to clean it up to be safe for the children before school holidays.”
Mr Eid said he put a proposal to the council months ago, and selling the site was also an option, but neither party had settled on terms.
He is waiting for his architect to finalise the plans.
“The plan would be for a childcare centre as well as a second-storey training centre for disadvantaged children,” he said.
“We’d get the government involved and have doctors and nurses ... and down the bottom we’d be able to look after kids and have a decent kitchen to feed the kids.
“We can do it as a partnership venture which is going to have potential for the community.”
Mr Eid said suggestions to demolish the building and turn the site into a park would be unfeasible for the community as other parks in the area had been vandalised.
The weekend’s clean up is the second for the shops in recent years.
Mr Eid said the last clean-up cost him more than $500,000 for equipment and workers.
“It’s been boarded up, but if kids break and enter I take no responsibility,” he said.
“The area needs to be policed properly.”
Council spokesman Allan Reeder said council staff had met with Mr Eid, but were unaware of his latest proposal.
“For the sake of the nearby residents, Orange City Council is pleased that the Kurim Shops site has been cleaned up,” he said.
“The Council is willing to listen to developers and businesses to talk about Orange’s future.”